Lopetegui confident he can turn Real Madrid's fortunes around
Julen Lopetegui knows he must take responsibility for Real Madrid's dreadful run, but he remains confident he can turn the team's fortunes around.
Madrid have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and were thrashed 5-1 at rivals Barcelona on Sunday, giving further credence to reports that Lopetegui is set to be sacked.
The former Spain coach is determined to lift Madrid from their current slump, but he acknowledges a decision could be made above his head.
"I feel sad at the moment but I have the strength to remain in charge of this group," Lopetegui told a post-match news conference. "This is a tough blow, but I know everything can be turned around.
"There is a long way to go and I have a lot of faith in this group of players. We have had such bad luck over the past few weeks, but all runs come to an end.
"As a coach, I have to take the job on and try to improve this team. The team has a future this season, it can be successful.
"We all know how the world of football works and the final responsibility lies with the coach. I am not stupid. But here, we win together and lose together. We are still early in the season."
And Lopetegui believed Madrid could have turned the game around before three late goals moved Barca out of sight.
"It is hard, a defeat is always hard, especially against Barcelona," he said. "We feel that we could have turned the game around. We had chances to equalise and then to go on and win.
"We were much better in the second half and had a spell to get back into the game with chances to score. We hit the post. But it did not happen
"There was more misfortune, more injuries and the third goal ended our hopes. At 3-1, it is over. The punishment in the end was excessive."