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Karanka defends Jose from boo boys

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka defended the record of Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese was roundly booed by fans at the Bernabeu before a 6-2 thrashing over Malaga.

Mourinho is widely expected to leave Madrid at the end of the season in favour of a return to Chelsea, and the home fans appear to have turned on their coach since the Blancos were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Champions League last week.

The coach further divided fans' opinion with two fiery press conferences in the last week, in which he criticised club captain Iker Casillas and centre-back Pepe. Mourinho's name was whistled when it was read out by the stadium announcer, but Karanka sought to play down the significance of the fans' ill-feeling towards his boss.

He said: "We don't pay much attention to that. In any case, the fans express their feelings while the coaching staff try to get the best performance out of the players. However, we respect their views."

Asked if Mourinho had given the half-time team talk, Karanka responded: "It was the same person that always gives it, the same guy that won the league last year."

Striker Gonzalo Higuain was also the victim of fan derision when he came on to replace Karim Benzema in the second half, but Karanka insisted the Argentinian still has the backing of the club.

"That's football. Last year the fans were shouting 'Pipa (Higuain's nick-name) please stay' after we won the league. We know he's not in the best form, but he has to keep on working."

Cristiano Ronaldo hit his 200th goal for Madrid. Raul Albiol, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria also got on the scoresheet for the Blancos.


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