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Casillas vows to fight for Real Madrid spot

Published on Jan 2, 2013 6:05 AM
Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (2nd from left) sits on the bench with his teammates at the beginning of their Spanish First Division soccer match against Malaga at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, southern Spain Dec 22, 2012. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas admitted on Tuesday the players are unhappy after dropping 16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona but denied any tensions in the changing room and vowed to fight to regain his spot after being unexpectedly left on the bench last month.

Casillas tried to calm a storm of speculation over splits in the club after coach Jose Mourinho dropped him from the starting line-up on Dec 23 against Malaga at La Roselada, a game Real Madrid lost 3-2. Mourinho insists the decision was taken on technical grounds alone.

Asked about any tensions in the dressing room, the 31-year-old keeper said: "The word is not tension. The situation in the league, when we have had certain defeats, is not what we want. We all want to win and when things don't turn out well we are sad because we want to win for ourselves and our fans."

In his first news conference of 2013, the Real Madrid captain said he hoped the Christmas break would help the team recover, recalling their defeat to Malaga and the number of points they have now allowed to ratch up behind the first division leaders.

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