Real Madrid must win their upcoming La Liga match against Las Palmas in order to keep pace with first of the league Barcelona, who currently have an eight-point lead, and hope for an eventual remuntada. 

But securing three points does not seem as easy for Zinedine Zidane, whose Los Blancos have suffered two consecutive defeats in less than a week. 

Real Madrid were, in fact, caught by surprise last weekend when Girona scored their winning goal in the second half of the La Liga game, costing them to lose more points. Even more painful was being beaten by Tottenham at Wembley in the fourth Champions League group stage match. 

Criticism towards Zidane and his men quickly followed. However, the French manager, who last year led the team to win the Champions League and La Liga, promptly responded (via ?Goal): “These are things that I cannot avoid. I am not the best coach in the world, maybe, this season, I accept it.

“But neither am I the worst in the world right now. Whether it’s euphoria or if things go badly, I am always in the middle. It also happened when I was playing,” he added. 

“What my players and I are thinking at the moment is that we are the same people, we are not happy with the two games we lost but it does not change what we are trying to achieve.”

The team’s unfortunate moment is also due to the absence of some key first-team players who have been out injured for the past few games but will return soon: “We are happy now, both have come back, we’re still missing [Mateo] Kovacic but he will return next week.

“Carvajal trained normally and Bale too, he came through his second training session and we are working normally. They will not be called up (against Las Palmas), we need to go easy with Dani. Bale too, he won’t play with his national team.

“Now he has completed two sessions and we want him to stay with us so he returns as soon as possible – but with Madrid.”