Karanka insists no loss of focus at Real Madrid


Real Madrid assistant boss Aitor Karanka insists the club is paying no attention to Pep Guardiola’s claims that Barcelona have no chance of catching their rivals in the Primera Division title race.

Barca’s win over Sevilla last Saturday, coupled with Madrid being held to a draw by Malaga, reduced Los Blancos’ lead at the top of La Liga to eight points. That margin was slashed to five points after La Blaugrana overcame Granada last night, but the Catalans’ boss has played down his team’s chances of overhauling Madrid.

Karanka, speaking at a Press conference ahead of Madrid’s visit to El Madrigal tonight to play Villarreal, insisted nobody at the Santiago Bernabeu was interested in what was said outside the club and would not be distracted by it. He said the team had never lost their focus, despite some observers suggesting they already had the title wrapped up early in the new year.

“We want to continue working in the same way. Whatever comes out is not our problem. We have an important lead and we must continue to maintain it,” said the former Real Madrid defender, now Jose Mourinho’s assistant. “The dressing room, as the Coach said two months ago, has a way of working. People were talking about having the league wrapped up and the Coach was the first person to say something like this was going to happen.”

Sunday’s draw against Malaga ended an 11-match winning run in La Liga for Los Blancos. Mourinho is set to keep faith with Brazilian midfielder Kaka, who is likely to start for the leaders, having done so in the last two matches against CSKA Moscow and Malaga.

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