Zidane defiant over Real Madrid form

Dec 5, 2017 - 6:32 PM Zinedine Zidane has urged Real Madrid's supporters to keep the faith, with his European champions coming under increasing pressure to find their sparkle.

Real complete their Champions League group stage at home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday with qualification for the last 16 already secure.

But Madrid have had to settle for the runners-up spot behind Group H winners Tottenham, possibly handing them a more difficult tie in the first knock-out round in February, while their domestic form has been patchy.

Champions Real trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by eight points and Saturday's 0-0 draw at struggling Athletic Bilbao made it only two wins from their last six games in domestic competitions.

But manager Zidane said he was tired of having to defend his team repeatedly.

"I see things that other people don't," he insisted.

"I'd urge Madridismo (Madrid fans) not to forget what this team has achieved. Others, people who are nothing to do with Real Madrid, they can have their opinions.

"I can't change what people think, I'm not bothered by it. It's the way it goes in this job. We're playing OK and I don't care what people are saying on the outside."

Real hit APOEL Nicosia for six in their last Champions League game, but it has been a very different story in La Liga.

Star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have only scored two league goals each this season.

But Zidane was defiant adding: "I think my team look in good shape but it's true we have to score more goals."

Dortmund have picked up only two points from five games, the same as APOEL, and hope to secure a Europa League spot by finishing third in the group.

But the Germans arrived in Spain without Maximillan Philipp and the winger is set to be out for several months after injuring his kneecap in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.

"We know they've got a lot to play for," Zidane said.

"We've already qualified but we're focused on giving a good performance."

Source: AAP

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