Iker Casillas has revealed his determination to return to the Real Madrid first team and to help the team start 2013 in the best way possible.
Casillas was dropped for the closing fixture of 2012, which in being a League defeat to Malaga has left the club 16 points away from Barcelona in the title race beginning the new year.
“I’m training hard to regain my position in the team. That is the ambition that I have now, to work and improve. I feel great truth here, but it is clear that I am not a machine. Everyone can be better or worse, I am fine,” Casillas told a Press conference this week.
“The most important thing is that the 11 players chosen by the gaffer perform to the best of their ability. As a person, [reserve goalkeeper Antonio] Adan is the best and when he has been called upon, he has not let Madrid down. Above Casillas is the entity and the club.”
The captain was quizzed about the state of the dressing room at the Bernabeu and if there were any divisions in it.
“The word is not tension. Our League situation, when we have had certain defeats, is not what we wanted.
“We all want to win and when things don't go well, we feel sad because we want to win for ourselves and for our fans. We want them to enjoy the way their team plays.
“My ambition? When that thrill [of winning] leaves me, I won't be sitting here anymore. As players, you must have a desire to make people happy and always want more. I agree with the Coach and our objective is to have ambition and appetite.
“I have to fight and battle to try and recover my place in the team. That is my target and I am hopeful that the Coach will pick me from the start this Sunday. I have to fight, battle away and try to improve.”
Sunday’s game that the player is hoping to be playing in is a home test against Real Sociedad.
“It will be tough. They have been on a great run and they have also been preparing for this game for quite some time. Teams look at us now in a different light from last season, but we are the ones who have to earn respect.
“They are coming to the Bernabeu and they will not hide away. We will try to win and forget the past. We must be confident and get back to winning ways against Real Sociedad.”
The 31-year-old then took time to reflect on the work he and his teammates have done during the winter break.
“Let’s hope this break will do us the world of good. 2012 ended with a defeat at Malaga and a 16-point deficit from the top of the League. We can't go on like this and this is not what we planned. We should not give in.
“We must continue, run more, train harder and ensure that we get the results on the field. Now, in 2013, we have to try and cut our League deficit and realise that, although our situation is difficult, it is not an impossible one. We must continue to fight game after game.
“We must get back to winning ways and that means winning on Sunday and turning the tables on our Cup deficit against Celta. That will give us the confidence to get results as we achieve our objectives.”
Casillas also took questions on Pepe’s comments made last week, about the reception he feels Portuguese players at the club have received.
“I spoke to Pepe about it and he said he was referring to the reception that the Portuguese of Real Madrid receive away from the Bernabeu.”