The Real Madrid manager looked ahead to the game against Alavés: "Every game is a final for me, at Real Madrid every game is like that."
Julen Lopetegui spoke to the media ahead of his side’s trip to Alavés in LaLiga this weekend.
You’re without Carvajal and Marcelo for the Alavés game…
We’ve had a few injuries, above all Marcelo and Carvajal, who look like they may be out for a few weeks. We’re also missing Isco and Bale had a small problem that wasn’t any more serious than that. These are things that happen, it’s normal, and we have to manage the situation and overcome it. Of course the more players we have available the better but those that play will do so fantastically well, there is no other option.
What do you make of the criticism the team has been getting?
This is Real Madrid, we have to take it in our stride. Problems are bound to come up and we have to be able to get over them. We’ll go through good and bad times. At the moment it seems as though it’s not all roses, but there are also positive aspects. We’ll try to consolidate the good things and correct the bad things and carry on with complete confidence and positivity, which is the only way to do it.
Do you think it’s unfounded, as you are joint top in LaLiga and still with the Champions League campaign intact?
It’s one way of looking at it, the demands are always at the absolute maximum, but the perspective is not incorrect. I have no doubt that in the Champions League we’ll continue along the same lines as we did against Roma. It was a game we deserved to win but this is football and sometimes these things happen. You have a lot of shots but don’t score, you hit the post… We have to see how the team works and take it game by game. Right now we’re concentrating on Alavés. It will be a tough game, against a side whose Morale is high.
Is Bale fit to play?
He is a very important player, that can’t be denied. He’s fine, he has been training well. He felt an issue that could have become worse in time and that’s why he was rested for the derby.
Lopetegui: "Every game is a final for me"
Do you think that Real are in a crisis?
We are not analysing what people think, we just look at what we are doing and work every day to improve. We are focused on our objectives and they remain intact. We want to improve, like everybody else, and I’m certain that’s what we’ll do.
Do you feel you’re being harshly treated by the press?
You have to respect the opinion of others and at a club like Real Madrid it’s normal. We’re professionals, we work from inside, seeing how the players are training and we see that the team is centred. We’ve played well at times. We said after the Roma game that report cards are for the end of the season. That hasn’t changed. I’m not really concerned whether I’m treated badly or well. We do our jobs in the knowledge that when the difficult moments arrive we are able to secure our objectives. Within the context that we want to win everything, I think the team played a more than acceptable game in the derby and against CSKA we deserved to win. Our worst performance was the first half against Sevilla. It’s not all been positive, but there have been brilliant moments. What concerns me is the next game. A coach is always responsible for the bad things, never the good.
Is the Alavés game a final?
Every game is a final for me, at Real Madrid every game is like that. It’s three very important points.
You conceded in the second minute in Moscow. Are you concerned by that?
It’s a fact and it does worry us, rowing against the tide in every game is difficult. It’s a concern and we’ll try to improve on that aspect, as we will others.