Pepe: I don't miss Mourinho

The defender says he has drawn a line under the Portuguese’s reign at the club and revealed training sessions are “much more intensive” under Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid defender Pepe has admitted he does not miss Jose Mourinho and is happy Carlo Ancelotti is now in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mourinho said farewell to Madrid in the summer of 2013 after three seasons at the helm, with his final months in charge marred by reported bust-ups with several high profile players, including Pepe.

“I don’t miss Mourinho. It was a different era which is over,” the centre-back told COPE.

“Ancelotti is not too lenient with us. He has a very distinguished curriculum and he demands a lot from us. Our training sessions under Ancelotti are much more intensive than they were under Mourinho.

“I thank God that I’ve a coach like him, he’s really helped me a lot. He tells me: ‘Pepe, with your quality, you’ve got to anticipate play. You’re fast and strong and you read the game well. You need to be focused’.”

A number of recent reports suggested Ancelotti’s job is in danger following Madrid’s disappointing start to 2015, which has seen them lose top spot in La Liga to Barcelona, but Pepe is reading little into the speculation.

“Ancelotti will continue, there’s no doubt about that. He’s a great coach and in a short space of time has brought us a lot of happiness.”

The 32-year-old also took the time to defend Iker Casillas in the wake of another unconvincing performance in the 4-3 loss to Schalke on Tuesday, stressing that the goalkeeper remains one of the best in the world in his position.

“Casillas is the best goalkeeper in the world right now. It’s strange that someone like him gets whistled.

“Things were never clear when Mourinho was here; I paid the price for saying that he should be respected for what he has done for Spain. That was unfair. From one day to the next people forgot everything that Iker has won and everything he has given to football and that was quite painful for me to watch.

“When I came out and said that he deserves respect, it was taken as though I was his best friend and we were everyone else’s enemies. People got that completely wrong; Iker tolerated his situation as best as he could – he knows what it means to wear the Madrid shirt more than anyone of us and is always defending this club.”

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03 2015
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