Zidane Demands 'Respect' as Real Madrid Boss Vows to Keep Fighting

Published February 5th, 2021 - 08:51 GMT
Los Blancos face an increasingly narrowed path to a successful title defence in La Liga, but their manager remains defiant that they will not fold (Photo: AFP)
Los Blancos face an increasingly narrowed path to a successful title defence in La Liga, but their manager remains defiant that they will not fold (Photo: AFP)

A fired-up Zinedine Zidane has vowed that Real Madrid will not throw in the towel amid a tough 2020-21 campaign, with the Frenchman insisting both he and his side are in it for the long haul.

Los Blancos have found themselves under pressure in La Liga this term, with the club struggling to translate last season's domestic consistency into a successful defence of their top-flight crown.

They lie third, level with second-place Barcelona on points, but ten off leaders Atletico Madrid at the summit, with Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos further possessing a game in hand over their rivals.

Zidane has sat out his side's last two matches due to coronavirus, with defeat against Levante meaning Madrid have now suffered more losses this term than across the whole of 2019-20.

A Copa del Rey defeat to Alcoyano has only further compounded matters, with pressure steadily mounting on Zidane's position in charge at Santiago Bernabeu.

But the 48-year-old manager, in his second spell in charge at the club, was in defiant voice when asked about his future ahead of his side's clash with Huesca this weekend.

"Well, I can't see into the future, I can't tell you what will happen," Zidane responded when pressed. "I think we need to be in this until the end.

"There's a lot of talk that maybe a change is needed, maybe the manager, maybe this, maybe that, whatever needs to happen will happen.

"I've said since day one I'm fortunate to be here, I'll make the most of my time here until my last day at the club.

"If people want me to throw in the towel or the players to give up, I can say neither I nor the players are going to do that.

"Of course a lot has been said about what we're going through right now, this spell, we haven't recently won enough games. But we're confident we can turn the tide.

"I think we all want to, we all need to, give our all until the end of the season. Of course, a lot could happen from now until the end of the campaign but, as a team, we're all rowing in the same direction. We're never going to give up, we'll give 100 per cent."

Zidane also knocked back suggestions that a major overhaul was needed at Madrid, stating that he feels both him and his team deserve the chance to defend their hard-fought title triumph.

"We're the defending league champions, we won the title last year," he added. "We had the right to try and defend the title we won last season.

"Maybe next season things will change, but I think we should have the chance to rightfully defend what we won last season.

"We're not talking about what we won 10 years ago – it's about respect. It's a question I understand, I see comments of course. I think it's good you can say you don't want me here, or don't want me at the club but I think we just need a chance to defend what we won last season.

"I'm the number one in charge of this project. As for next year, there'll be changes but I think we deserve this year, this squad deserves the chance to prove themselves to do this for the fans.

"Nobody is going to jump ship, we'll all going to give it our all for the fans. Hopefully, we can give them some things to celebrate, to shout about, they love their team, want to see the team win, play good football. We're going to try and do all those things.

"When we play badly or have a poor result, I think the press can sometimes criticise or be over the top.

"I think we earned that respect, and if we don't reach our goals come the end of the season, hand up I'll be the first to accept the blame.

"Maybe I'm a bit angry, upset, I've been locked up indoors recovering from Covid. Now I'm back we'll battle until the end."

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