Zidane gets Real backing from Hierro

Reports in Spain claim that Joachim Low has already been lined-up to replace Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has defended his Real Madrid players and insisted they are "not that bad".

There has been speculation that Zidane could be replaced at the Bernabeu after a disappointing season, with his side 16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

"What we must do ourselves is not look and listen to what is being said", Zidane said. You can change, but that would be in June. Now we have to reflect that on the pitch.

But Numancia fought back again and it was Guillermo once more but this time with a brilliant header. Zidane said he hoped the notoriously hard to please Blancos hardcore got behind their players now. All that's being said about Real Madrid at the moment is negative, but I, and many others, don't share that view.

"The positive thing is that we are still alive in all competitions. We need the fans, just as when we are going well they should not get too high, and in moments a bit hard we need the fans with their team". "Just as when we're playing well we need to keep our feet on the ground, when we're going through a tough spell we need them to help us out".

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'However, we have to be calm and use good sense.

"Of course the league is more hard because of the distance in the points between them and Barcelona, it is big".

This season has seen Los Blancos already lose three times in 17 games - Barca are unbeaten - which has been in stark contrast to a stellar 2017 which saw Madrid sweep up a record five trophies.

Karim Benzema remains a doubt, while Marcos Llorente will be sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury against Numancia and Sergio Ramos is still out with a muscle problem.

Important midfielder Manu Trigueros returns from suspension, but Roberto Soriano, Bruno Soriano, Andres Fernandez, Ruben Semedo and Leonardo Suarez remain sidelined.

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