Ramos retains Real title hopes
Monday 09 March 2009
Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos remained upbeat after seeing his side held to a 1-1 draw in the Bernabeu by city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Ramos' side lost ground on Primera Liga leaders Barcelona as a result of their derby stalemate, having needed a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equaliser to secure a point.
"Our morale is intact," Ramos claimed. "Six points is not a huge difference.
"It is only two games and they still have to come to the Bernabeu. There are still 12 games left."
For his part, Atletico coach Abel Resino was disappointed to see his side fail to secure victory after they had taken the lead through Diego Forlan.
He added: "I am happy with our effort, but leave with a bitter-sweet feeling because we could have won.
"We had a lot of chances to win but we could not finish them. I believe we were superior to Madrid, apart from a ten to fifteen minute period in the second half.
"I would be more disappointed if we had not created any chances."
Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta is in no doubt that his side will clinch this season's title after the weekend win against Athletic Bilbao lifted Pep Guardiola's side six points clear of second-placed Real Madrid.
A three-game winless run had cast doubt on Barca's title credentials but Iniesta insists the players have always been confident about holding on to top spot this term.
He said: "I am convinced that we will win La Liga this year. I have complete confidence in the team and we have already seen that we are returning to our best. At the moment, the title depends solely on us.
"We created a lot of chances against Athletic and we were playing good football again but, most importantly, we managed to win.
"There's one less round of football and we have put more distance between ourselves and Madrid. And it doesn't matter what they are saying to us because it is just part of the game."
Valencia coach Unai Emery believes only hard work will help lift his side out of their current malaise.
The 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Numancia extended Los Che’s winless sequence in all competitions to seven matches and left them eighth in the table.
A downbeat Emery said after the match: “As the person in charge of the club’s football matters, I take full responsibility of our situation.
“I hope that from now on, the only way is up and we can start winning matches again, but the only way to do that is to continue to work, work and work.”
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