MADRID // Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has welcomed club president Florentino Perez's words of support for him.
In response to Mourinho's complaints about the league scheduling for Madrid matches, Perez said earlier that the Portuguese coach was "defending the club".
Perez said: "Defending Real Madrid from what we believe to be unjust, irregular and arbitrary is the Madrid way, and this is precisely what our coach, Jose Mourinho, does."
When asked about those comments following their 2-0 home win over Hercules, Mourinho said: "I've not heard what the president said, because I don't read or watch anything on match days in order to stay focused, but if it's like I've been told, it could be an important speech for the future.
"If we are all together, and we feel the same difficulties, problems and injustices, we will surely be stronger.
"A great club needs a great coach, but the great coaches are only that if they have a great club behind them. And to have the support of the president is very important for me."
Madrid's victory over Hercules saw them provisionally cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera Liga summit to four points, with the Catalan side playing Sevilla tonight.
Mourinho praised his side for their performance and also said two-goal hero Karim Benzema was "better than ever".
"I'm very happy with the team, although I didn't like the first half much. Games preceding and following Champions League encounters are always difficult to play," Mourinho added.
"In the second half we were better and Hercules had less of the ball."
The triumph was also the ideal way to warm up for Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Lyon, where Madrid will be attempting to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in seven seasons.
Madrid are favourites after drawing the first leg 1-1 but Lyon knocked out the Spanish giants at the same stage last season and Mourinho is taking nothing for granted.
"Every game you don't win is a tough blow, and there are many of those throughout a coach's career," Mourninho said.
"You obviously can't always win or get through to semi-finals.
"Lyon are a very good team with experience and tradition in the Champions League. On Wednesday we are going to have a difficult game and we must be at our best.
"We can play with 11 men or with 12, and this 12th man is the Bernabeu. Over there Lyon played with 12 because their stadium, although small, was with their team. With the public's support we will be stronger."
Elsewhere, Valencia were thrashed 4-0 by Real Zaragoza to round off a disappointing week for Unai Emery's men.
Just three days after being dumped out of the Champions League by Schalke, Valencia were comprehensively outplayed at La Romareda and fell to goals from Jiri Jarosik and Ander Herrera, plus two penalties from Gabi.
Marius Stankevicius was also sent off for the visitors to cap a miserable evening.
Atletico Madrid lost more ground in the race for Europe as they were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Almeria.
Atletico twice led through Sergio Aguero, but were pegged back on each occasion by goals from Albert Crusat and Henok Goitom.
Quique Sanchez Flores' side remain seventh in the standings, while Almeria sit second from bottom with only 10 games left.
Tonight's fixtures include Osasuna v Racing Santander, Real Sociedad v Malaga, Espanyol v Deportivo La Coruna, Levante v Mallorca, and Villarreal v Sporting Gijon.
Athletic Bilbao travels to Getafe on Monday.