Despite seeing his side fall eight points off leaders Barcelona in the La Liga title race after a shock defeat at newcomers Girona, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane insisted the season is long and Los Blancos aren’t throwing in the towel just yet.
“We couldn’t score that second goal. We played well in the first half but football is all about the details, Zidane said at the post-match press conference in Girona as he added, “They managed to score their first one from a throw-in, we weren’t switched on. I don’t want to dwell on it; on the first half we did well but in the second half things did not go to plan. We can get through this, we’ll look at the footage and focus on the details”.
An Isco goal had given Los Blancos the lead early in the first-half but any hopes of a easy win were silenced as the plucky minnows scored twice in a span of four second-half minutes to take a shock lead.
And the Catalan opponents would hold on for what might just be their biggest triumph in their modest history.
“We were lacking concentration. They had a really direct style of play, they got up the pitch and played second balls very well. That’s where we went wrong, but we must focus on the next game, we have to remember that La Liga is a long competition, there is a long way to go and I’m not worried. We can handle this,” the 45-year-old manager asserted.
Real Madrid lost just thrice last season as they pipped Barcelona to the league title but their current campaign has seen them lose twice already. And the fact that they have drawn twice has seen Barcelona, who coincidentally have made their best-ever start in the La Liga, build up an eight-point lead at the top of the standings.
Even second-placed Valencia are four points clear of Real, who are third with a points tally of 20 from 10 games. Coincidentally, derby rivals Atletico Madrid are level with Los Blancos on points.
“The players worked hard, it comes down to concentration. We gave a good account of ourselves right up to the last and the players put plenty of effort in. We’ve just dropped three points and eight points behind the league leaders, but that changes nothing,” Zidane stated as he continued, “We know we can turn this around. We will have better days and our rivals will surely drop points over the course of the season”.
Real now have a UEFA Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur coming up and after their mid-week European clash, they host Las Palmas in their final league game before the last international break of the year.
“The league isn’t a chore for us, it’s our day to day. It’s true that we dropped three points and it wasn’t expected. After four wins we didn’t expect this kind of match. The players’ desire to win the league title is still alive,” Zidane insisted.