Benitez: There is a campaign against me at Real Madrid
Rafa Benitez believes there is a campaign against him and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Speculation has been rife in the Spanish capital over the future of Benitez who has failed to win over many fans with his team’s results and style of play this season.
In his weekly column, Sky Sports’ Spanish expert Guillem Balague said that many people in Spain think Benitez is a "dead man walking" and that the former Liverpool man only has a minimum of six games to save his job.
"There is a campaign against (president) Florentino (Perez), Real Madrid and me," Benitez told a news conference on Tuesday.
"Everything is criticized that can be and where not it is manipulated which anyone can see. This is particularly clear if you look at the situation from the outside."
Real face Real Sociedad on Wednesday and they are just two points off joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with 33 points from 16 games, but the Catalan side have a game in hand after playing in the Club World Cup.
"Everything is being magnified and I have a lot of experience coaching so I know to be distracted as little as possible," Benitez said.
"I have 24 players in the squad but when I leave out one player then it is made out that it is something personal and a load of speculation is built up. The team is a lot better than people think.
"My relationship with the players is infinitely better than what you read in the press. There is a communications department that keeps me informed. The team is doing some things well and others not so much."
Benitez said he was able to relax over Christmas which he spent with his family in northern England where he used to manage Liverpool.
"It was calm. I had a short holiday as we are playing again on the 30th," he said.
"Fortunately, the English press do not exaggerate as much and so it was relaxing with the family and concentrating on how to beat Real Sociedad and win trophies this year."