After a disappointing defeat away to Sevilla on Wednesday evening, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane insisted that nothing will change between now and the end of the season as Los Blancos look ahead to a Champions League final against Liverpool.
The 3-2 defeat epitomised what has been a fairly lacklustre title defence, with Zidane's men now 18 points away from their bitter rivals, Barcelona.
The French coach admitted that although the defeat was disappointing, he will ensure that his side forget about it immediately.
“We start work again tomorrow and tonight’s result will not affect anything between now and the end of the season,” Zidane told the Spanish press. "All the players I have are worthy and we came here to win. We play a lot of games and all of the players have to rest. We have a Champions League final coming up, I'm the coach and I decide."
Zidane was also quick to defend his side after he made no less than seven changes after El Clasico. Despite recognising that his side did lack a cutting edge at the top of the pitch, he insisted that they were more than good enough to take away all three points at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
“We lacked something in the final third. We didn’t produce up top, especially in that first half. We were a bit better in the second. I cannot criticise my players because in the second half they did everything right to turn the tide.
“When you look at the side we put out, you’d think we had enough there to win comfortably. I don't regret that starting eleven. There are two games to go and today we missed a good chance to pick up points. It’s a real shame."
Sergio Ramos had a miserable evening, missing a penalty and scoring an own goal but Zidane also leaped to the Real Madrid captain's defence.
Zidane added: "He’s our captain and every time we come here he’s involved in something. His first penalty wasn’t the greatest but that happens. He played well, like everyone else, especially in the second half."
Real Madrid now have two more league matches against Villareal and Celta Vigo before their seemingly annual trip to defend their Champions League title. Zidane will be hoping that his side can use these league matches to generate some momentum before the crunch match.