A defiant Rafael Benitez has insisted Real Madrid supporters will back his team as long as their performances are of a sufficient standard.
The Santiago Bernabeu crowd have jeered their own team on multiple occasions this season, including during sections of their astonishing 10-2 win over nine-man Rayo Vallecano last time out, with whistles after they had fallen 2-1 behind and at half-time with the score at 4-2.
Madrid are at home to Real Sociedad in La Liga on Wednesday, the first match back after Spanish football’s short break over the Christmas period.
Addressing the media at a news conference in which he also claimed there was an agenda against himself, the club and president Florentino Perez, Benitez said he is hopeful the fans will be positive and suggested an early goal could be useful.
“I was clear about this the other day – we have to motivate the fans with good play,” the head coach said.
“That is all, we have to play well with the right attitude and the crowd will support us.
“We have to start well against Real Sociedad, get an early goal and that will make thing easier for us.
“If we do not do that then we will have to show character. They are a side who are quick up front, they will try and play the ball, so we have to try and stamp our authority on the game.
“The squad has been training well with intensity, much better than people on the outside would think. We see it every day and we need to show that in games.
“Fortunately nearly all the injured players are back to fitness, Dani Carvajal trained on Monday, Raphael Varane did since Sunday and that helps keep the squad competitive.
“The club and the team have been doing things well, so we are just concentrating on our objectives for Wednesday. I have been here a long time and I know the first-team’s results are the most important thing here for everybody.”
Benitez insisted he has remained calm despite the heavy pressure weighing down on him with his side two points adrift of Barcelona at the top of La Liga, having played a game more than the holders.
Madrid’s lot has not been helped by their bizarre expulsion from the Copa del Rey for fielding ineligible midfielder Denis Cheryshev against Cadiz.
He continued: “I have spent the short Christmas holidays at home with my family, so I have tried to enjoy the little time I have had with them.
“Fortunately the English press does not go on as much as the Spanish press about these things so I have been quite calm, thinking about what I have to do to beat Real Sociedad and win titles in the future.”