Jose Mourinho has dismissed suggestions his Real Madrid team are in crisis after dropping five points in their past two La Liga matches.
Real went down 1-0 away to Levante on Sunday, before drawing 0-0 with Racing Santander on Wednesday, and find themselves seventh on the table, five points back from surprise leaders Real Betis.
Next up is the visit of promoted Rayo Vallecano to the Santiago Bernabeu, where Mourinho hopes any talk of an early-season malaise will be banished.
“Some people are talking about a crisis, a dramatic situation in which we couldn’t even fight to stay up,” he said, sarcastically referring to an unlikely relegation battle.
“There are people interested in talking about this crisis and people that just stick to the facts: that there is no crisis, rather that we have not played well the past week.”
“Three bad games, but that is one week, not three weeks of crisis. This is not a crisis, just a negative situation.”
“It is always easy to motivate players coming off poor results.”
“If you are complacent you can get stuck in a complacent mindset, but if you are ambitious like us it is a starting point to find new motivation.”
Mourinho said that defender Pepe would miss the next two matches due to a muscle tear suffered in the match against Levante.
The Portuguese coach also offered some praise for Rayo Vallecano, who were runners-up behind Betis in the Segunda Division last season despite suffering serious financial hardship.
“I do not know how Rayo will line up, that is their trainer’s problem,” Mourinho said.
“I will say what I feel about Rayo, they are a team that were a group of heroes last season.”
“We all know the difficulties they had and this season they are playing well, they are mid-table.”
“I only have respectful words for them and lots of admiration, because what they are doing is impressive, with passion for football and I am delighted to tell them that I respect and admire them.”