Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is refusing to bow to the pressure as he targets Champions League victory at Galatasaray amid speculation that Jose Mourinho is being lined up to replace him.
Real sit bottom of Group A with just a single point after two games following a 3-0 defeat at Paris St Germain and a 2-2 home draw with Club Brugge in which they trailed 2-0.
They are currently within a point of LaLiga leaders Barcelona, but this season’s start in Europe, coupled with last season’s distant third-place domestic finish, has left Zidane firmly in the spotlight.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul, he said: “The past is in the past and football soon forgets about what you’ve achieved. That’s the way things are in life. The important thing is the here and now.
“I’m upset about what’s being said about me, but I can’t stop people from having their opinions. I have to give my all as coach, with my players, and think positively.
“I’ve been at the club for 18 years. We know where we are and that pressure will never go away. We’re aware of the situation and will keep going until the end.
“Our first aim is to get the three points tomorrow night. We know that it’s an important game and one in which we have to put points on the board, given how things stand in the group. I’m just focusing on tomorrow night’s game.”
Zidane has challenged his players to draw upon the club’s rich tradition as they attempt to turn around their European campaign in Turkey.
He said: “Real Madrid always deliver in these kinds of games and that’s what we want to see. We got our Champions League campaign off to a poor start and tomorrow’s is a game for us to show what we can do.”
However, Galatasaray’s on-loan Brighton striker Florin Andone insists his side has nothing to lose against a side which no longer includes the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo.
He told AS: “During the past year, they haven’t looked like the Madrid who won three Champions Leagues.
“They’re having difficulties, but they are still one of the best teams around, if not the best team in the world, although without Cristiano, they are not as effective.
“We’re not afraid of them. We respect them, of course, very much, but we also think we can beat them or at least hold them to a draw.
“We’re at home with our people behind us. What have we got to lose?”