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Friday, February 29, 2008

La Liga Football News

Real Madrid protests leave Laudrup "furious"

Getafe coach Michael Laudrup admits the behaviour of several Real Madrid directors - including sports chief Pedja Mijatovic - left him "furious" at the end of Sunday's shock win. "I was furious," Laudrup told Ekstra Bladet, revealing he was confronted by several Real officials at the final whistle over the manner of Getafe's winner.
"What did they expect me to do?" shrugged Laudrup. "It was the referee's decision. The flag went up and so, why couldn't we act quickly in the follow up play?"
On the victory, Laudrup beamed: "It is the biggest I have ever had as a coach in Spain. It brought pride and joy to win at home against Barcelona, but to defeat Real at the Bernabeu I find incredible."

Casillas, Cannavaro call on Real Madrid to stay united

Iker Casillas and Fabio Cannavaro gathered Real Madrid's players together before training yesterday to discuss their current crisis. AS says both senior players urged their teammates to stay calm and resist finger-pointing. All of Real's squad agreed they must be as united as ever if they're to lift themselves out of their current slump.
One unnamed Real player said: "The error against Getafe was unforgivable, but it is already important to leave it behind. The game against Recre is a turning point. If we win in Huelva, we'll beat Roma. We know that in this week we gamble the season and it is necessary to win both games.
"We must be more a team than ever. In the bad times, this is when it is a must. We all must be more hungry, the starters and the substitutes."

Real Madrid coach Schuster: Things are getting difficult

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster conceded they're struggling after suffering a third consecutive defeat to Getafe last night. Ikechukwu Uche struck for Getafe in a play which was sparked after Real's players were celebrating a goal that had been ruled out by the match officials.
Schuster said: "We have lost by an isolated play. We have celebrated a goal that was ruled out, Getafe reacted very quickly and with their first shot of the game they produced goal and that did much damage.
"The truth is that the things are becoming very difficult. We are finding problems that we have not had before.
"This has never happened to me before.
"Simply we are failing to convert our chances. We are defending far better than our opponents, always being superior and dominating, but with the small details we are losing to our opponents.
"I cannot look to the future. The future is Huelva. It is necessary to motivate ourselves again. We must demonstrate that we are a team at the good moments and now. The dressing room is motivated and I do not have any doubts that we are going to return very quickly to winning ways."

Mijatovic urges Real Madrid not to panic

Real Madrid sports chief Predrag Mijatovic insists they're not wobbling after seeing their lead cut to two points last night. Defeat at home to Getafe, coupled with Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing of Levante, leaves Real with just a two point lead on Barca, but Mijatovic says: "February has not been our month. When we were going very well in the League, with many points of difference with respect to our rivals, we said that there were many games left.
"The Spanish Liga is decided in the final weeks. It is important to have patience.
"It is important to recover our injured players and to resolve ourselves to finish very well. In the world of soccer it is necessary to respect all rivals. It is unnecessary to make ourselves nervous and we still have two points advantage.
"We are leaders. Football is a question of form and in the bad times it is necessary to be calm."

Raul insists no panic at Real Madrid

Raul insists there's no crisis talk at Real Madrid with Barcelona now just two points behind the Liga leaders. The Real captain said: "We were disappointed on Monday (after the defeat to Getafe) and have been reflecting on the slip we've experienced since three weeks ago.
"We know very clearly that we must stick together. We have always been sensible, we always knew that form arrives in peaks and troughs.
"The team is good. Perhaps our effectiveness has dropped, but this is just form. We're working as hard as always.
"Barcelona have recovered some important players and it's normal that they're doing well because they have great quality. But the title will be decided in May, in fact I believe in the final five days."

Rijkaard: Fully fit Barcelona now showing our true quality

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was delighted with last night's stunning 5-1 victory over Levante. The game was dominated by a hat-trick from Cameroon ace Samuel Eto'o and Rijkaard remarked afterwards: "The team always tries to create chances and now that we have a complete squad and players in good physical training condition you can see we are peaking.
"Until now we did not have possibility of having all our players available. The team is recovering and everyone is ready to play. So we can choose to give a rest to some. Before, we did not have this situation."
Messi won plaudits for his mature performance and Rijkaard added: "Messi always is practical; his form always is very complete. Two goals created and in time scoring a very important goal, after the equaliser. It gave us inspiration and desire to obtain the triumph."