01 January 2013
Iker Casillas gave the first press conference of 2013 at the Real Madrid Football City. The Whites' captain wished all Real Madrid fans the best for the new year and analysed this Sunday's game against Real Sociedad: “It will be tough. They have been on a great run and they have also been preparing for this game for quite some time. Teams look at us now in a different light from last season, but we are the ones who have to earn respect. They are coming to the Bernabéu and they will not hide away. We will try to win and forget the past. We must be confident and get back to winning ways against Real Sociedad”.
Real Madrid's goalkeeper ended with a message for their fans: “Let's hope this break will do us the world of good. 2012 ended with a defeat at Málaga and a 16-point deficit from the top of the league. We can't go on like this and this is not what we planned. We should not give in. We must continue, run more, train harder and ensure that we get the results on the field. Now, in 2013, we have to try and cut our league deficit and realise that, although our situation is difficult, it is not an impossible one. We must continue to fight game after game".
Casillas, who came through the Whites' youth system, is aware that Real Madrid now face two consecutive games at home and is hopeful that the fans' support will be decisive in getting the team back to winning ways: "We must get back to winning ways and that means winning on Sunday and turning the tables on our Cup deficit against Celta. That will give us the confidence to get results as we achieve our objectives."
Casillas, who stated that "he is feeling well and in good form", praised the work of two of his team mates from the squad: Adán and the goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro. He said about the former, who is also a product of the Whites' youth system: "The most important thing is that the 11 players chosen by the gaffer perform to the best of their ability. As a person, Adán is the best and when he has been called upon, he has not let Madrid down. Above Casillas is the entity and the club”. About the latter he stated: "I really have learnt so much from him. He instils certain things that other coaches have not instilled into me. The work with him has been very good, but I also remember Amieiro, Xabi Mancisidor...I learnt a lot from them every day".
When asked about the possibility that he has lost his hunger for trophies on the pitch, and if he will play from the start against Real Sociedad, the captain of Real Madrid was very explicit: “When that thrill leaves me, I won't be sitting here anymore. As players, you must have a desire to make people happy and always want more. I agree with the gaffer and our objective is to have ambition and appetite. I have to fight and battle to try and recover my place in the team. That is my target and I am hopeful that the gaffer will pick me from the start this Sunday. I have to fight, battle away and try to improve".
In reference to whether there is any tension in the dressing room, Real Madrid's goalkeeper spoke very clearly: "The word is not tension. Our league situation, when we have had certain defeats, is not what we wanted. We all want to win and when things don't go well, we feel sad because we want to win for ourselves and for our fans. We want them to enjoy the way their team plays".
He lastly explained the comments of his team mate Pepe, in which he revealed the he sensed somewhat of a persecution towards the Portuguese players: “He was referring to when we go to away grounds. Their reception is always a bit over the top. We must call for calm in terms of football in general. People should support their teams but in a respectful way".