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Sunday 24 June 2018

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'We're in this together' - Zinedine Zidane refuses to play the blame game as he deals with Real's struggles

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane . Photo: Reuters
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane . Photo: Reuters

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane insists everyone at the club is "in this together" as Los Blancos look to get their season back on track.

Zidane watched his team lose more ground on LaLiga rivals Barcelona following a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo on Sunday.

There has been much debate as to the reasons behind Real's inconsistencies this season.

Los Blancos started with European Super Cup victory over Manchester United and beating Barca in their Spanish Super Cup clash, but lost El Clasico 3-0 at home before Christmas to now sit fourth in LaLiga, some 16 points off the pace.

Zidane, though, maintains there will be no finger pointing as his team prepare for Wednesday's home Copa del Rey tie against Segunda Division Numancia, who were beaten 3-0 in the first leg.

"We are all in this together. We are all responsible and me first and foremost, as the coach," the Frenchman said at a press conference.

"We have had two great years and that shouldn't be forgotten.

"We won't live in the past, but we shouldn't throw away what has been done either."

Zidane, quoted by Spanish media outlet Marca, added: "Whenever things go wrong, I am not a person who is going to put two or three players in the s**t.

"There will be no going crazy. Many people might say it has all gone wrong, but I don't.

"With hard work, good things will come."

Zidane also dismissed issues over showdown talks with the squad. Instead, he believes the clear-the-air meeting should act as a positive.

"They are chats, like at every team. We are here to find solutions, talk and try to make things better," the Real Madrid coach said in quotes on the club's official website.

"It was a conversation a little longer than others, but nothing else.

"I don't talk if I don't think it's necessary. I don't do it for the sake of it. When we meet it is to get something out of that meeting."

Zidane added: "When what we want doesn't happen, we have to think about our work. The players think the same and you have to work more than ever in every way.

"It is not something that is physical or mental. It's a bit of everything. We must continue and be stronger, there is no other option."

The successful defence of their Spanish title now looks a tall order, while Real also face a testing encounter with Paris St Germain for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Zidane, though, remains defiant.

"I believe in the work we're doing - I will not throw in the towel," the 1998 World Cup winner said.

"I am committed to my responsibility and I will continue like this until the end.

"The plan is to work and work even more because it is not enough.

"I have to start motivating my players again to find how to sort this out.

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