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'Hurt' Madrid players desperate to turn fortunes around - Solari

442   //    30 Oct 2018, 18:56 IST
Casemiro - cropped
Real Madrid players during the 5-1 defeat to Barcelona

Real Madrid's squad are desperate to turn around the club's fortunes after a miserable run under former coach Julen Lopetegui, according to interim boss Santi Solari.

Los Blancos suffered a fourth LaLiga loss in five games when they were beaten 5-1 by Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, a result that signalled the end of Lopetegui's tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Lopetegui was dismissed on Monday, with Castilla coach Solari handed control until a permanent successor is found.

The former Madrid midfielder, who won two league titles and the 2001-02 Champions League in five years at the club, took training for the first time on Tuesday, and he says the squad are determined to get back to winning ways.

"They are a bit hurt," he told a media conference when asked about the players. "But they are looking forward to turning this situation around.

"This is a group of champions, a group of hard workers who have won lots of things for this club.

"It is not the easiest of situations but I saw them in the mood to turn things around and change things.

"This is a delicate moment but it is in these situations when your true character comes out."


The 42-year-old is not expected to be a long-term appointment, with Antonio Conte reportedly the number-one candidate, but Solari hopes to grab his chance to impress.

"I'm going to try and do everything I can, it's a great opportunity, a great club," he added.

"I don't just say that as the coach of the first team, I have been at this club for other things. I've played, I've sweated for this club. 

"Madrid is bigger than all of us, I just want to be part of it."

Solari will take charge of Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash with Melilla, and he has one aim, to win and progress to the last 16.

"The idea is to go to Melilla and play with real courage and pride," he said. "I would expect us to go into the game and give everything, and I expect them to as well.

"I am here to win football matches, it's that simple."