Toni Kroos has defended Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in the wake of recent criticism.
After taking over in January the Frenchman guided Madrid to Champions League glory in 2015-16, but has endured a somewhat indifferent start to this season.
Madrid have failed to win any of their last four outings in all competitions, but Kroos is adamant Zidane does not deserve to be criticised for their recent slump.
"I have to admit that I do not read the newspapers very often and I do not know how people have criticised Zidane," Kroos, who signed a new six-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, said at a media conference.
"The team did not play well against Eibar [on October 2], but we did play well against Las Palmas and [Borussia] Dortmund.
"Zidane is important to us. He is dedicated and his quality is beyond doubt. There is a really good atmosphere within the team.
"This isn't an excuse but we have had injuries to important players.
"We will need a win against Betis on Saturday."