Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has hit out at the hysteria that has surrounded two consecutive defeats for the club, pointing out that the results have not made him a bad boss overnight.
Two reverses in the space of three days against Girona and Tottenham were greeted with consternation at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.
The former saw Madrid fall eight points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race, while a 3-1 loss at Wembley put Spurs in the driving seat to claim top spot in the Champions League Group H.
But while he is determined to arrest the slide, Zidane believes that some of the criticism he and his side have faced in the aftermath is unwarranted.
“These are things that I cannot avoid. I am not the best coach in the world, maybe, this season, I accept it,” he fired to reporters.
“But neither am I the worst in the world right now. Whether it’s euphoria or if things go badly, I am always in the middle. It also happened when I was playing.
“What my players and I are thinking at the moment is that we are the same people, we are not happy with the two games we lost but it does not change what we are trying to achieve.”
A lengthy injury list at the Bernabeu has also harmed Madrid’s chances, with several first-teamers on the sidelines for those defeats.
According to Zidane, however, the side are now ready to welcome back Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale after a heart infection and hip injury respectively.
“We are happy now, both have come back, we’re still missing [Mateo] Kovacic but he will return next week,” he added.
“Carvajal trained normally and Bale too, he came through his second training session and we are working normally. They will not be called up [against Las Palmas], we need to go easy with Dani. Bale too, he won’t play with his national team.
“Now he has completed two sessions and we want him to stay with us so he returns as soon as possible – but with Madrid.”
Madrid will try to get their Liga challenge back on track on Sunday when they host Las Palmas at the Bernabeu.