NEWS
Friday October 5 2012
Toshack: Seven long months for Madrid

Former Real Madrid boss John Toshack says it will be seven long months for Real Madrid if they lose El Clasico to Barcelona.

The Welshman believes the eight-point gap between Jose Mourinho’s men and Barca means there is now no room for error in Sunday’s game at the Camp Nou.

“If they get a draw then it wouldn’t be too bad but there’s a big difference between eight points and 11 points if they lose,” said Toshack, who was speaking at golf day organised for former Real Madrid and Barcelona players in Salou.

“It’s true that we are only in October and that there is still a long way to go but, to quote what Juanito once said, if the difference is 11 points then it is going to be seven long months.”

Despite that, Toshack refuses to write off Madrid’s chances in Sunday’s encounter.

“If Pique is not fit then that could be a decisive factor. His absence, added to that of Puyol, could be a problem for Barcelona.

“Real Madrid will go out with the idea of taking advantage of that as it is clear the pairing of Mascherano and Song is not ideal for these kind of matches.

“With Puyol missing it is a psychological advantage for Madrid. I’m not a great fan of Mascherano as a centre-back,” he admitted.

Toshack, who coached Los Blancos to La Liga success in the 1989-90 season, had words of praise for current Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova whilst refusing to give too much credence to the alleged problems within the Real Madrid dressing room.

“He is demonstrating that he knows how to move his pieces well. So far he has done it to perfection.

“As for Madrid, a lot of the time the problems are magnified and the Catalan Press take advantage of that.

“It has hurt Mourinho’s pride to be eight points behind, while it’s also bad for the players who have to take their children to school and are ridiculed.

“They also say there have been problems between David Villa and Lionel Messi, which is the same as between Mourinho and Sergio Ramos.

“The difference is that being at a disadvantage then it is magnified much more.”

Football Italia website