Captain Iker Casillas has thrown his support behind Jose
Mourinho as Real Madrid prepare for their crucial city derby this
After lifting the Primera Division trophy last season, Mourinho
has found life tough this time around with Madrid already 11 points
behind arch-rivals Barcelona.
Added to their woes is the fact that neighbours Atletico are
riding high in second place with star striker Radamel Falcao
stealing all the headlines.
That has put the heat on Mourinho, who was booed by sections of
the Bernabeu crowd during Tuesday night’s Copa del Rey win over
second tier Alcoyano.
Madrid lost 1-0 at Real Betis last weekend, meaning they have
now dropped one less point than for the whole of last season, to
leave them in the unusual position of trailing their city rivals
ahead of a derby.
Casillas admits his team can afford nothing less than victory
this weekend, and eat into an eight-point gap, and believes
Mourinho is the man to turn their fortunes around.
“It (the fans’ booing) may be unfair on Mourinho. He took on a
new team with young players. Much of the success has been down to
him, we have had some very good seasons recently,” he told
“He is the best coach in the world and has shown this.
“Our trust in him is absolute. Mourinho is a coach who has given
us much. Barcelona were playing well and went on to win titles and
over those seasons defeated us. Last season the clear favourite was
“We hope to continue to regain ground in the league. We thought
we might be closer going into the derby if we had won in Seville,
but it cannot be and we will try to now make it a five-point gap
with the derby.
“Right now, both teams are ahead of us. In recent years we have
been fortunate to have gone unbeaten against Atletico, but that
does not mean anything when we are looking for nothing but a win.
The draw is worth nothing to us.”
Back-to-back defeats against Accrington and Dagenham have
checked the Cod Army’s impressive march into the League Two
play-off spots in their maiden Football League campaign.
Summer signings Jon Parkin and Steven Gillespie are sidelined,
along with fellow forward and long-term absentee Andy Mangan, who
has a knee injury.
Goalkeeper Davies feels the return of any of the frontmen would
be like having new signings – particularly after Mellon failed to
bring in striking reinforcements before last week’s emergency loan
“We’ve got to start scoring goals and start scoring goals
quickly,” he told the Blackpool Gazette. “It was disappointing not
to see anyone come in before the trip to Dagenham.
“We have three great strikers at the club who are injured and to
get one of those back for the next league game would be like a new
signing for us.”