Zinedine Zidane has insisted that Real Madrid are far from out of the race in La Liga this season, despite falling seven points behind Barcelona just five games into the season.
Los Blancos have dropped all seven of those points in their opening three home games of the season, leading some fans to worry about their title defence, but Zidane reassured supporters that the race is far from over.
Quoted by ESPN FC after his press conference this week, he said: "We do not think that. This has just begun. If I had a seven-point lead, I would not be saying the season is over. Each team will have a bad period over the season. In football, everything can happen. This is long - we have 33 games left to play."
He added that he remains happy with his side despite their run of adverse results, saying: "This is a bad moment for us, but I am very happy with how we are playing. The press can talk about things, but we are not going to change what we are doing.
"Before I was lucky, now I am jinxed. But I am still lucky, don't worry. I love my job and enjoy it every day. This will turn around, we are not worried about that."
A number of key players will miss the weekend's trip to Alaves, including Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema, Mateo Kovacic, Jesus Vallejo and Theo Hernandez, and Zidane admitted: "It is always annoying when you are missing players, but we can do nothing about that. Over the season this can happen. We must deal with it at this time."