Zinedine Zidane dismisses Real Madrid criticism ahead of Celta Vigo cup clash
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 24/01/17 3:31pm
Zinedine Zidane has hit back at Real Madrid's critics and insists their recent blip in form has been greatly exaggerated.
The reigning European champions set a Spanish record of 40 games unbeaten in all competitions earlier in January and remain top of La Liga but followed up their first league defeat of the season at Sevilla with a 2-1 first-leg loss to Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey.
Real supporters booed their players during Saturday's unconvincing 2-1 win over Malaga but, ahead of their second leg clash at Celta on Wednesday, Zidane dismissed criticism of his side.
"Listening to some of these questions you'd think we were battling relegation," Zidane told reporters.
"I'm not worried and neither are the players. We're in high spirits. Tomorrow we have a really exciting game."
Celta rested players in their league defeat at Real Sociedad at the weekend in preparation for the second leg and Zidane will field a full-strength team.
"We're going to try and win everything we have in front of us and that's not going to change, we're not going to throw in the towel," he said.
"If we don't win [the tie] it wouldn't be our biggest failure, although I'm not contemplating that at the moment."
Real are missing six players through injury, with Colombia international James Rodriguez ruled out unexpectedly after straining a calf muscle just after recovering from another leg problem.
Luka Modric and Marcelo sustained injuries against Malaga while full-back Dani Carvajal's absence means out-of-favour left-back Fabio Coentrao has been called into the squad.