Ramos calm ahead of Liverpool test

Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos is confident his players will not be affected by the euphoria created by their impressive recent form when they host Liverpool in the Champions League tomorrow.

Not so long ago Madrid were a club in crisis, but since the arrival of the former Tottenham boss just prior to Christmas the Spanish giants have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in fortune.

Under Ramos, Madrid have won 10 out of 11 competitive matches and each of their last nine in the league, scoring 22 goals and conceding just two in the process.

That winning streak, combined with runaway leaders Barcelona slipping up in their last two matches, has seen second-placed Madrid cut the gap on their arch rivals from 12 points to seven in La Liga, and breathed life back into a title race that looked dead and buried.

It has also led to increased optimism and expectations amongst both the media and Madrid supporters, but Ramos is confident his players have their emotions under control.

"I think it's more an atmosphere of optimism than euphoria. We are calm and happy at how things are developing in the league because it gives us security and confidence going into games," Ramos said, whose side thrashed Real Betis 6-1 on Saturday with all the goals coming in the first half.

"Maybe some fans are more happy and euphoric than others but the dressing room isn't like that and I'm happy with the state of the team and the way the players are approaching the game.

"It is a very tough and difficult tie and we have to work hard to get through."

Ramos did admit his side need the fans to help make home advantage count right from the start tomorrow though, just like the Liverpool supporters are sure to do in the return leg at Anfield.

"I've no doubt that these types of games really appeal to the fans and they will be behind as at the Bernabeu," he said.

"We need the fans now when the tie is 0-0 and not when we are 3-0 up, and I know that they will be behind us throughout."

Madrid may head out onto the Bernabeu pitch tomorrow in good form domestically but there are still big question marks over their European credentials.

The Whites have been knocked out at the last-16 stage in each of the last four seasons, and they lost twice in the group stages this term before progressing as runners-up to Juventus.

Madrid, as nine-time winners of the competition, still remain one of the big names in the tournament, but Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, for one, does not believe they will be holding the trophy aloft again in May.

Speaking to French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Ferguson said there was "no chance" of Madrid winning the Champions League this season, claiming they lacked pace as a team.

Ramos preferred not to react to that comment though, or the prediction of Madrid president Vicente Boluda that the Primera Liga champions would record a 5-1 aggregate win over Liverpool.

"It's the opinion of another coach, and just as I said earlier with the question about the president, I don't want to comment on it," he said.

"I'll talk about my team and I don't talk about what others say because I'm not a controversial coach and I'm not going to get into any of this."

The fitness of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was also a hot topic at today's press conference, with the England midfielder still a question mark despite travelling with the rest of the squad to Madrid.

Ramos knows the value Gerrard has to Liverpool but was keen to point out that Rafael Benitez's side are much more than just one player.

"Liverpool have very good players in general but it's as a team they are the most dangerous, they are very competitive," he said.

"If he plays he's fit. I wouldn't play an injured player and I don't think Rafa would either. He's an important player.

"(But) to be honest when I talk about the game I only talk about Real Madrid and to get the best out of my side.

"I don't talk about Liverpool hardly at all because I don't know how they are going to play or who is going to play.

"What I want is for us to do as well as possible. The only thing that I know about them is that they are going to play with 11 players."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried