The Real Madrid coach says his players are confident going into the vital match against Barcelona but stresses there are other big games to play
Carlo Ancelotti insists he is not fearing the sack ahead of Real Madrid’s crucial Clasico against rivals Barcelona on Sunday.
The Italian’s position as coach at the Bernabeu has come under scrutiny after a poor run of form saw the European champions lose top spot to Barca in La Liga and unconvincingly edge past Schalke in the Champions League last 16 after losing the second leg 4-3.
Defeat to Luis Enrique’s men would leave Madrid four points adrift at the league’s summit with 10 matches left to play, but while admitting the Clasico was a vital game, Ancelotti does not think it will decide his future.
The coach, who also said the smartest team would triumph in the match at Camp Nou, insists there are still a number of other vital fixtures to play before the end of 2014-15, not least the Champions League quarter-final against city rivals Atletico Madrid.
“I do not feel as though my future is on the line,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“This is just an important game for Madridistas. It is the same for Barcelona. Both teams have a global image to live up to and have to give a good impression.
“But this match won’t be as decisive as the Champions League tie against Atletico.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is different because this is a special game. We are playing a great side at an important moment of the season.
“We haven’t played well recently but our confidence is exactly the same as it was before. The players are calm and confident and ready to put in the best game possible.”
Coaching icon Arrigo Sacchi recently paid tribute to Ancelotti’s patience but the former AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain boss says even he has limits.
“Patience is part of my character although the atmosphere here helps me,” said Ancelotti.
“Some may think that there are no limits to my patience but I do have limits. I think in this job it is important to remain level-headed when dealing with the press, the club and particularly the players.
“I try to keep a cool head and think positively, especially ahead of a game like this one.”
Club president Florentino Perez insisted Ancelotti’s future was not under threat at a press conference last week.