Zidane Plays Down Reports of His Place on Real Madrid Hot Seat

The second go-around at Real Madrid hasn't been as joyful as the first for manager Zinedine Zidane.
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Zinedine Zidane is under pressure at Real Madrid

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has played down reports circulating about his impending exit, insisting that he wants to stay at the club "forever."

The Frenchman was speaking to the press ahead of Los Blancos' crucial Champions League clash against Galatasaray in Turkey, which follows a dispiriting defeat to Mallorca on Saturday in La Liga.

A report from Spain then suggested that defeat away in Turkey this week could be critical for Zidane, with Jose Mourinho and Max Allegri both waiting in the wings for Florentino Perez's phone call.

The three-time Champions League winning boss remained defiant in his pre-match press conference, saying: “I don’t know about those rumors, I want to stay here forever. You’ll have to ask someone else. You will always have pressure, we know the situation.

"What I say won’t change anything, and the reports won’t change anything either. We know what’s at stake tomorrow and I’ll be optimistic."

Along with Zidane's future, Real Madrid's Champions League fate is also possibly at stake on Tuesday, with the club having taken just one point their opening two games.

However, Zidane reaffirmed he has faith in his players to turn things around, saying: “Players always want to win and they know what happens in every game. They want to turn things around and they’re the first ones who want to do it.

"We’re a team and there’s no need to point fingers at anyone. We’re in this together and I’m the one responsible for this team. I trust this team and we want to prove that we can bounce back."

In what was a testy atmosphere between himself and the assembled media, Zidane also spoke on the team's motivations and morale this season.

“When there’s nothing to play for it’s very tough to play," he admitted. "Now it’s another season, this is life and you can’t always play good football. Every match is important and we know how demanding our fans are.

"This is Real Madrid and we can’t be wrong a single minute. We have to reduce the margin of error, we will play a great game and I’m just focused on the match. If you want to talk about changing the coach and those reports that’s your thing."