Casillas pledges to fight for place

Casillas pledges to fight for place

Published Jan. 11, 2013 12:00 a.m. ET

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has declared his intention to regain the confidence of coach Jose Mourinho and hopes to finish his career with the capital club.

Mourinho dropped Casillas before Christmas and again favoured Antonio Adan during last Sunday's 4-3 Primera Division win over Real Sociedad.

Adan was sent off after six minutes for bringing down Carlos Vela, resulting in a penalty which saw Xabi Prieto score the first of his three goals.

The fans booed Mourinho and also cheered Casillas' name when it was read out as one of the substitutes.


Casillas, who came on after Adan's dismissal, said: "What Mourinho said about whether he was accommodating me did not bother me.

"It comes from the person in charge of the team and it is all about what he thinks and believes.

"What I have to do is train more and be as driven as possible to make my return. My toughest battle is with myself and regaining the coach's confidence."

Casillas, speaking during a media session in Madrid, revealed he had not asked Mourinho why he was not first choice.

"We have not discussed anything. He did not speak with me when I played as a starter and does not have to do it when I'm not," Casillas said in quotes reported on the club website,

"This club is wonderful and special and it brings everything together to be here. I'm from Madrid and play for the best club possible and would like to retire here if possible.

"After winning so many things at Real Madrid and after 14 years, what I like most is that people enjoy themselves and say that you are Real Madrid through and through."

Casillas called on the club's fans to give their backing to the team.

"I have to ask the fans to be together and united with us, and that with your support we will be much better."

Madrid go into tomorrow's game at Osasuna 16 points behind leaders Barcelona in third in the table, but Casillas believes they can bridge the gap and retain the title.

He said: "We have to keep thinking about fighting for the league. I went through it five years ago and we managed to close the gap. We will try to scrap and fight because we have a lot of excited support behind us."