herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Casillas wants stability at Real as talk surfaces of Pellegrini departure

Iker Casillas has called for stability at Real Madrid by backing under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini to continue as coach at the Bernabeu amid growing rumours that Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho could be brought in as his replacement.

Mourinho earlier this week said it was inevitable he would one day take charge of Real, but, with the team facing into tomorrow's Primera Liga finale and still capable of reclaiming the trophy from Barcelona, Casillas called for stability in a "long-term project".

He said: "I hope this project is allowed to grow and gain confidence.

"We are a new team. There were many changes within the club, a new coach arrived, as did many new players. We are on the right track, but because so much is demanded of Real Madrid there is not enough time. The long-term project is a good one.

"I find Pellegrini as calm as always, like it's his first day here.

"He is very coherent and we stand by him. He and I have a close relationship, but I don't decide what happens. My job is to save balls."

Casillas praised the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo on the squad, the Portugal forward has scored 26 goals in 28 league matches so far this season following his world record £80m move from Manchester United.



Attitude

The Spain goalkeeper added: "When you see Cristiano Ronaldo, you notice the effort this club has made to bring the best players in the world. He is strong, spirited and has a winning attitude. He gives the team an extra gear and has the winning attitude demanded by Real.

"He is similar to Camacho, Pirri, Santilla and Juanito in that regard. They always wanted to win, just like Cristiano does."

Casillas also had words of praise for city rivals Atletico Madrid following their midweek Europa League success over Fulham in Hamburg.

"I am very happy for Atletico Madrid because I am a Madrid native and I love it when the spotlight is on this city," said Casillas.

"Our derbies are always a lot of fun. I must admit I was supporting them in the final.

"I am happy for their fans because they were able to take to the streets to celebrate for the first time in a long time."

Real will be hoping Barcelona slip-up at home to Vallodolid tomorrow evening as Pelegrini's side travel to face Malaga at the same time. A single point separated Barcelona and Real at the top of the table going into the final game.









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