‘If you want to see a defeated coach then don’t look here’: Under-pressure Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui comes out fighting ahead of must-win Champions League match
- Julen Lopetegui under intense pressure following four losses from five
- Real Madrid boss only took the job in the summer and has overseen 12 games
- Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Levante led to reports Lopetegui would be sacked
- Tuesday night’s Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen is must-win
Under-pressure Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has come out fighting amid speculation he is on the brink of losing his job after just 12 matches in charge.
The reigning European champions have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions and the odds on Lopetegui being sacked shortened significantly after their 2-1 home loss to Levante on Saturday.
But Lopetegui, speaking ahead of Real’s Champions League meeting with Czech team Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, certainly didn’t sound like someone resigned to the sack.
Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was defiant as he tries to end a five-match winless run
Lopetegui is under intense pressure after Real Madrid lost four of their last five matches
Under-fire boss Lopetegui took charge of Real Madrid’s training session on Monday
The Madrid players are preparing for their Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen
‘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,’ he said.
‘If you want to see a defeated coach then don’t look here.
‘In my view, we have a game tomorrow and 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.’
Gareth Bale took part in the whole session and looks set to return to Madrid’s starting XI
Lucas Vazquez tries to tackle Thibaut Courtois as the Madrid players joke around
Keylor Navas (C) is seen smiling as the Madrid players mess around in the warm-up
La Liga unless stated
Tuesday Viktoria Plzen (H)
Champions League group stage
Sunday Barcelona (A)
October 31 Melilla (A)
Copa del Rey
November 3 Real Valladolid (H)
November 7 Viktoria Plzen (A)
Champions League group stage
November 11 Celta Vigo (A)
Lopetegui, who was installed at the Bernabeu over the summer having been sacked by Spain on the eve of the World Cup, does not believe Tuesday’s game will be his last.
‘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,’ he said.
‘I am here right now, I cannot confirm anything else right now. I will be the coach tomorrow.’
Real slumped to seventh in the La Liga table following Saturday’s defeat and things don’t get any easier for Lopetegui with an away Clasico against Barcelona coming up on Sunday.
They defeated Roma 3-0 in their opening Champions League group game, but then lost 1-0 away to CSKA Moscow last time out.
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