x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Julen Lopetegui vows to fight on to turn around Real Madrid's struggles

Manager admits though he is not looking beyond Uefa Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen with doubts growing over his future in charge of the European champions

Real Madrid's manager Julen Lopetegui oversees training on Monday. AFP
Real Madrid's manager Julen Lopetegui oversees training on Monday. AFP

Julen Lopetegui has said he will fight to turn Real Madrid's stuttering season around but could not guarantee he will be in charge for the El clasico against Barcelona on Sunday.

Lopetegui's future is in doubt just four months after swapping the Spanish national team for Madrid on the eve of the World Cup.

His side face Viktoria Plzen in the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday, on the back of five games without a win and having lost all of their last three.

"What I've learned about this club is to fight, that is the DNA of this club," Lopetegui said at a press conference on Monday.

"That's what we're going to do, fight, both the players and the coaching staff. We know results haven't been great but we are going to turn this around. We are going to fight."

___________

Read more

Uefa Champions League talking points: Real Madrid look for solace and pressure on Thierry Henry

Real Madrid suffer worst goal drought in their history as they lose to Levante

Struggles of Barcelona and Real Madrid make Primera Liga for exciting viewing

___________

Asked if he knew that he would be in the dug-out when Madrid visit Camp Nou this weekend, Lopetegui said: "I'm here now, that's all I can say. I am the coach at this moment.

"If you ask me what is going to happen in a month or a year, I can't tell you. We're focused on the present."

Madrid's poor run has left them seventh in La Liga while defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League last month sees them sitting third in Group G.

Key players have offered their support to Lopetegui. Captain Sergio Ramos has said it would be "crazy" to change coach so early in the season while Marcelo insisted the team was "with him to the death" after Saturday's loss at home to Levante.

"The players are strong," Lopetegui said.

"They are champions not by coincidence, but because they are strong.

"They have had bad times and bad moments but they have a lot of strength. They don't get to be champions by believing everything they hear."