I'm not going to quit! Mourinho defiant after Casillas axe backfires in latest Real defeat
11:51 GMT, 23 December 2012
Jose Mourinho put his Real Madrid future on the line by axing Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas amid suggestions that he was inviting the club to fire him before Manchester United visit in the Champions League in February.
Madrid fell 16 points behind Barcelona ahead of the mid-winter break after losing 3-2 at Malaga last night, leaving president Florentino Perez under pressure to act.
Mourinho was asked if, at any point, he had thought of resigning. He replied: ‘No. Not during, or after.’
Asked why he left out Casillas he said: ‘It was a technical decision. A coach analyses the players and decides.’
Gamble: Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas
Ramos demands calm
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has called on his team-mates to ignore all the speculation surrounding their poor form.
He said: 'Once again we have dropped important points, despite the team playing well in the first half, in which we had chances to score but we didn't have any luck.
'We shouldn't think about the league leaders or anybody else. We should only think about ourselves.
'We must be self-critical and La Liga is now very difficult, practically impossible, but we need to keep on fighting.
'When we lose many conclusions are drawn, but it is when we must use our heads the most.'
Critics argue that the Portuguese has
already decided to go at the end of the season and knows that if he is
dismissed he would be due compensation of €20million (16.3m) — hence
the incendiary decision to leave out a club legend.
His supporters emphasise that the
team have conceded seven of their 17 goals from set-pieces this season
and point to Casillas’s weakness on crosses.
For Mourinho to drop the two-times European champion and World Cup winner is seen as provocative.
Former Real Madrid sporting director
Jorge Valdano said of the decision: ‘It is a show of force, to prove he
is stronger than one of the legends of the club.’
Mourinho insisted he has no
intention of quitting as Real Madrid coach and does not fear for his job.
The Primera Division season has not
even reached its winter break and Madrid's title defence looks to be in
tatters with Mourinho's men now 16 points behind runaway leaders
Barcelona following another hugely disappointing night for the
Barca extended their lead earlier in the night with a 3-1 win at Real Valladolid and Madrid were unable to react as they slumped to a 3-2 loss at fourth-placed Malaga.
That was Madrid's fourth league defeat of the campaign and seventh in all competitions this season, which is already more than they suffered in the whole of the last campaign and has seen the pressure build on coach Mourinho.
Gamble: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho
Not impressed: Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez (right)
However, the Portuguese, who took the
surprise decision to omit club captain Iker Casillas from his starting
line-up tonight, was in defiant mood when asked whether he had
considered stepping down.
He told reporters at the post-match press conference: 'Neither before, during or after the game have I thought about resigning.
don't fear for my position. This is football. I'm not a child, nor have
I been here for a couple of days. Coaches know that football has no
memory and only takes into account what was done today and not what was
'It doesn't take into account what titles you've won, nor the work you've done, it's all about the now.'
Madrid, who on Thursday were paired
against Manchester United in the last-16 of the Champions League,
dominated the first half against Malaga but could not take advantage and
were made to pay as Isco put the hosts ahead just after half-time.
An own goal from Sergio Sanchez levelled the scores up midway through
the second period but Malaga substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck twice in
three minutes to put the Andalusian side 3-1 up.
Lacklustre: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Benzema pulled another goal back but it was not enough to save Madrid,
whose defeat follows a Copa del Rey fifth-round first-leg loss to Celta
Vigo and last weekend's 2-2 home draw with struggling Espanyol in La
Mourinho said: 'We're sad to have lost but the players have done their
best. They tried against Espanyol and today, but we didn't have any
'This week off comes at the ideal moment. The players are empty. They have given everything and they haven't been rewarded.'
Regarding his selection of Antonio Adan ahead of long-term first-choice
goalkeeper Casillas, Mourinho said: 'It's a technical decision. The
coach analyses the situation, looks at the players at his disposal and
chooses his team. At the moment, for me and my coaching staff, Adan is
better than Iker.
'You can invent the stories that you want but it's purely a technical decision.'
Mourinho conceded last week when Madrid fell 13 points behind Barca that
catching the leaders was 'practically impossible' and he remains
resigned to losing their title.
He said: 'Real Madrid were champions last season with a nine-point
advantage to second place. This season we are at a distance which, in my
opinion, is insurmountable. We have to assume responsibility that we
are not having a good season.'