Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez says his team is hurting from the defeat by Barcelona and and want to put things right immediately.
Los Blancos take on Shakhtar Donesk this evening having already qualified for the knock out stages of the competition but will be fired up after the 4-0 humbling at the hands of the bitter rivals on Saturday evening.
Fans and media alike will be looking for a reaction, and at his press conference ahead of the game, Benitez said his players would be giving their all to win back the support of Madridistas, who booed them off the field at the weekend.
He stated: “It’s true that we’ve lost the last two games and that the last one was very important, and for that reason we’re hurting and really eager to bounce back. The best way to give the fans something to shout about is by winning as soon as possible and working hard to do that.
“The team hasn’t collapsed. We’re upset about losing to Barcelona. We have to look forwards. We’re here to try to ensure we progress as group winners. We have to focus on that. They’re tough opponents, with quality players and an experienced coach. We’re out to get the win and make sure of top spot.”
Asked whether the players still back him after the recent set backs and rumours of fallings out with senior players, Benitez added: “Of course. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gone 14 games unbeaten and qualified from the group stage with two matches to spare. We’ve had difficulties in these past two games. What we have to do is stick together to keep on doing as well as we had beforehand. The group has quality and professionalism and we all have to move in the same direction to achieve the results that we want.”