Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Real Madrid coach blames injuries for recent form

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini blamed injury disruptions for his team's recent poor run of results, capped by a 4-0 rout from third-division Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.Meanwhile, Madrid director general Jorge Valdano stopped short of guaranteeing Pellegrini's job was safe.There are lots of players who are out of form who have been returning from injuries," Pellegrini said to explain the loss and other recent results, including defeats against Sevilla and AC Milan.Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Karim Benzema were among the players back from injury, while Cristiano Ronaldo has been sidelined throughout the recent poor run of results. Xabi Alonso and Gonzalo Higuain are among Madrid's other absentees.Although the pressure was piling up on the Chilean coach, he insisted he will remain in the post."It has not even passed through my mind to resign, not recently, not today, not tomorrow," he said.Valdano hinted he wasn't seeking the coach's resignation either."I trust fully in (Pellegrini's) seriousness and his professionalism and tonight has to be a moment of departure (for the team)." However, he would not offer a concrete guarantee that the coach will stay.It's not the moment to make a diagnosis and I just want to apologize to the fans," he said.I believe in the squad and I believe in the people that form a part of it," Valdano said. "I think that what happened tonight will only ever happen once."

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