You can read 19 more articles this month
UNDER-FIRE Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is adamant he will be in charge of tonight’s Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen.
Reports suggested the former Spain manager was about to lose his job after an embarrassing 2-1 home loss to Levante at the weekend made it four defeats from five in all competitions and left them seventh in LaLiga.
Real resume their Champions League campaign, where they lost to CSKA Moscow last time out, against the Czech outfit and Lopetegui is insistent he will still be in a job.
He told a press conference: “I am looking at the situation the same as ever, I am carrying out my day-to-day as usual and that is what is under our control.
“If you want to see a dejected coach, then don’t look here.
“In my view we have a game that we are looking forward to and we will go about it with total commitment and drive.
“I am not thinking about anything else other than tomorrow’s game.”
Speculation is rife that the Group G clash could be his last game in charge, but, even if they do win, it seems unlikely he would survive a defeat in Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona.
“It has been assumed as done and dusted from what I have read, but what I have done is analyse and prepare for the rival. I am not thinking of anything else which is my responsibility,” Lopetegui added.
“I am here right now, I cannot confirm anything else right now. I will be the coach tomorrow.”
Midfielder Isco is firmly behind his manager and says the players must take responsibility for the reigning European champions’ slump.
He said: “I think it would be crazy [to sack him], you have to let him work.
“He has only been here for two months. If you get rid of the coach, you have to get rid of all of us.
“It is us that haven’t been scoring goals or playing well. It belongs to all of us, not just the coach.
“The responsibility is on everyone not just the coach. It’s the players that don’t score the goals.
“We know better than anyone what the atmosphere is in the changing room.
“It’s calm. We’re confident we can turn things around.”
Real are third in the group, a point behind leaders CSKA, who play Roma.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.