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Karanka: Real fighting hard for second spot

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka says his team are determined to claim second place in La Liga ahead of Atletico Madrid.

Despite Saturday’s 5-2 win over Mallorca, the capital city club sit 10 points behind leaders Barcelona in the table, and appear unlikely to retain their title.

Nevertheless, Karanka has insisted Real, who lead third-placed Atletico by four points, will not let up in their pursuit of second place.

“I think the message is that we have to fight for second place,” Karanka told AS.

“Right now what we’re concentrating on is getting second.

“We’re aware of the mistakes that have been made, but we also know the players that we have. That’s what the squad is there for. We choose a starting line-up to win each match.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the first-half, but corrected it at the break. If things don’t go well like against Deportivo or today, what’s important is that we can change the dynamic of each game.

“(Striker Gonzalo) Higuain put in a lot of effort against Celta but he couldn’t find the back of the net. Today he scored, and that will give him confidence. That’s good.”

Meanwhile, Higuain, who scored twice in the Bernabeu win, claimed Madrid could yet secure the title.

“Our aim is to put pressure on Barcelona and not to let them relax for one second. There is still a long way to go. We’re going to fight until the very end,” Higuain said.

“I’m very happy. Mallorca are on a good run of form and took the lead twice, but we gritted our teeth and showed what type of football we can play.”

Sun 17 March, 2013
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