Iker Casillas has full respect for weekend opponents Real Valladolid and also assures Real Madrid fans of the team’s intentions in the coming weeks.
The club closed their Champions League group stage campaign this week and with the Last 16 not due to be played until February, the chance is there for full focus from the team on domestic matters, as Casillas reflected.
“The targets set for the end of the season are still there. The pity is that perhaps we are at such a distance in the League from Atletico, despite having cut the deficit last weekend, and with Barcelona, which is even further away,” commented the goalkeeper to Madrid’s official website.
“But, we made it through to the next round of the Champions League and we expect a tough rival in the Last 16, but by February there will be time to prepare.
“Now we want to focus on the League and cut the lead of those ahead, and in the Cup move forward.”
Both the League and Cup take focus in the next week, with Primera clashes at Valladolid and at home to Espanyol sandwiching a Copa del Rey trip out to Celta Vigo.
“They are three games in quick succession but now we cannot afford to lose any points in the League. And against Celta [in the Cup] we will try to do well in a game that will be full of difficulties.
“It took us a lot of effort to beat them in the League in October. They are a Primera Division-level side and the arrival of Madrid in Vigo always gives them motivation.
“We have to think of ourselves in this tough week as it ends against Espanyol, who come from a difficult situation with new Coach.”
This weekend sees Madrid travel out to the Estadio Jose Zorilla to face newly-promoted Valladolid.
“It will be a difficult game. It is a complicated field where the fans are enjoying their team being back in the Primera Division.
“Valladolid are playing very good football and come into this game off the back of a good result at Sevilla. I think Saturday will be a tough game and they will make things very difficult.”
Think you know your Spanish football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!