Mourinho in clear-the-air talks with Real squad
MADRID (AFP) –
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho sought Saturday to deal with speculation of a rift in the Bernabeu dressing room by revealing he had had a heart to heart chat with the squad ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Espanyol.
Madrid’s stumbling start to the season saw them lose 2-1 to Celta Vigo in the first leg of the King’s Cup tie in midweek and a verbal swipe at the players suggesting some did not give their all was picked up by the Spanish media as a sign he may be losing control.
“I have spoken to them all and it is an internal matter,” said Mourinho. “We are not in a position, though, to make too many changes. Making changes doesn’t necessarily mean we will get better results and if it did then I wouldn’t think twice about it. Generally, I don’t think it is a good idea and it is better to maintain consistency.”
The cup defeat was the latest setback for Madrid, whose chances of retaining the league title are slim with Barcelona eleven points clear – but club president Florentino Perez has publicly backed the Portuguese coach.
“I have already spoken with the president about the situation and I would like to thank him.”
Madrid have problems in attack ahead of facing Espanyol with Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema injured and youngster Alvaro Morata could be given the chance to lead the line.
“We will see. I want to see how they all are but I admit that against Celta we should have had Morata on the bench. It would be stupid not to change it when you have done something wrong and Morata is an option,” said Mourinho.
“This is the same team as last season. I am demanding the same of myself and I know that the results are not satisfactory so there is no need for me to be told it.”