Real Madrid manager, Julen Lopetegui, insists he is more motivated than ever after his side’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante on Saturday intensified claims he is on the verge of being sacked.
Madrid were 2-0 down after just 13 minutes against Levante and, although they pushed desperately for an equaliser, slumped to a fourth defeat in five games across all competitions, despite Marcelo pulling one back 18 minutes from the end.
Before the match, reports suggested Lopetegui would at least be given until after next Sunday’s Clasico with Barcelona to save himself.
That now looks less likely, but Lopetegui – who has only been in charge since July – is adamant he is not paying such speculation any attention.
“Right now that is the last thing I’m thinking about,” Lopetegui told reporters after the match.
“What I want is to get the boys back up as soon as possible and prepare them for the next match we have in three days [against Viktoria Plzen].
“I feel more motivated than ever to continue, because the team has left everything on the field.
“Sooner or later we will get ahead. We know the injustice that football has had with us, but only the dynamic is changing.
“The dressing room was sad, but with the desire to raise their heads and look at the next game. The team has given their all and is going to leave everything [out on the pitch] to get out of this situation.”
Indeed, he feels the result of the game was unjust.
“It is clear that we have not deserved the defeat, but in football you win by scoring goals,” he said. “We have shot 34 times, we had two off the post and had two goals disallowed. There were many chances, but these things happen in football, that’s why it’s so wonderful.
“We took risks, we created countless chances, but only one has gone in. The only thing that can be done is to win matches.”
Madrid have now gone five matches in all competitions without a victory, dating back to a 1-0 success over Espanyol in La Liga on September 22.
In the aftermath of their defeat, Los Blancos were left fifth in the Primera Division table, three points behind leaders Alaves, who played on Friday.