Zinedine Zidane has given his backing to Real Madrid head coach Rafael Benitez despite speculation over his future.
Defeat to Villarreal last week has left Madrid five points behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the top of La Liga, with pressure growing on Benitez.
Jose Mourinho has been linked with a sensational return to the Santiago Bernabeu after leaving Chelsea and current Castilla coach Zidane has consistently been touted as a possible replacement for Benitez, with president Florentino Perez publicly backing him as a future head coach of the club.
The former Liverpool and Napoli boss himself said Zidane is still in “a growing period” as a coach and the ex-France star has lent his support to Benitez despite those remarks.
“I support Benitez, he is doing very well,” he said on Saturday. “The first team is doing amazing work with the coach. It is normal that, when you lose one or two games, there are criticisms.
“It has been a normal week for me and the players. I don’t read the media much. What matters to me is what I do every day, that the first team always wins, and that I am behind the coach and all of Real Madrid.
“I have to work with my team and think only about getting them to play in the play-off.”
Madrid face city rivals Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.