Pepe finally set to return for Real Madrid

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid defender Pepe is preparing for a return to action after finally completing a ten-match suspension.

The Brazilian defender was banned for his actions against Getafe last April, having kicked Francisco Casquero twice, before punching Juan Albin and then swearing at the fourth official.

Pepe was awarded four red cards for his conduct, but he now wants to move on and kick-start his career at the Bernabeu.

He told the club’s official website: “I am grateful to the club who supported me at all times.

“I must now prove what kind of a man, person and player I am on the pitch.

“Not being able to play with my team-mates was the hardest part, but it is now a thing of the past and I am not bothered.

“Now, I only look ahead to playing and helping my team.”

Valencia’s sporting director Fernando Gomez Colomer has played down talk of a mini-crisis at the Mestalla.

Rumours have suggested that all is not well with Los Che, despite them having lost just once in all competitions this term.

Colomer told AS: “We have lost one game out of seven official matches and the atmosphere of nervousness and tension around the team seems a little exaggerated to me.

“We could be better than where we are at a results level, but we should be calm. When you lose a game it's because you've done something wrong.

“In the situations where we conceded goals, it was because we lacked intensity.

“I'm sure the players will give everything they have against Atletico Madrid in order to win. We are coming up to the fifth matchday, we should not go crazy.

“I have no doubt about Unai Emery’s continuity as coach.”

Veteran midfielder Marcos Senna is set for a return to action after overcoming recent injury problems.

The 33-year-old Spain international has not featured since the end of August, but is in line to face Deportivo La Coruna this weekend.

Having missed the defeat by Villarreal in midweek, Senna told AS: “I was not prepared to risk it, but I am now fine and ready.

“If we had won, no-one would have thought of Marcos Senna.

“I am ready to help the team and get their first victory of the season.

“We're not used to being at the bottom of the table and in order to get out of there, we must have personality and, above all, calmness.

“I'm sure that we will be fighting for European places at the end of the season.”