Mourinho lauds Real, defends goal shortage

Jose Mourinho has insisted he is not worried about Real Madrid's lack of goals so far this season, warning upcoming opponents that a thrashing is in the pipeline. Los Merengues have shown gradual improvement in front of goal in the Portuguese's first three matches in charge, drawing 0-0 with Real Mallorca in their La Liga curtain-raiser, then downing Osasuna 1-0 at the weekend before beating Ajax 2-0 in their UEFA Champions League opener last night.

However, Real really should have netted a hatful against the Dutch side after creating a host of chances and launching shot after shot at goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who was busy throughout the game. Mourinho remains unconcerned though.

"We played very well, we pressed a lot and didn't let them play how they wanted to," he said. "One day some poor team will pay for all these chances we've missed.

"If we only had two shots I would worry, or if (goalkeeper Iker) Casillas was our best player. Down the years, in some of Real Madrid's games, Casillas has been the best, and now in the last three matches Casillas has not touched the ball.

The best player from Osasuna and from Mallorca was the goalkeeper. Here the goalkeeper from Ajax has done very well.
Jose Mourinho explains Real Madrid's lack of goals this season

"Maybe my strikers were not so clinical in front of goal. We've lost some efficiency in front of goal, but we've gained a lot because we completely dominated the match."

The Madrid giants took the lead in the 31st minute, when the ball ended up in the back of the net as Ajax defender Vurnon Anita and Real striker Gonzalo Higuain challenged for Xabi Alonso's corner. The 22-year-old Argentinian, the club's leading scorer for the last two seasons, then doubled the hosts' advantage in the 73rd minute with his opening goal of the campaign.

Mourinho backs Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo, who like Higuain and Angel Di Maria should probably have netted at least a couple, is yet to get off the mark this season, but Mourinho is not dwelling on that. "I'm not worried because Cristiano hasn't scored," said the 47-year-old coach.

"He worked very well and could score a couple in any game. Many coaches would love to have this attack. The goals are going to come. The best player from Osasuna and from Mallorca was the goalkeeper. Here the goalkeeper from Ajax has done very well."

In response to Ajax coach Martin Jol's remark that it was a match of "men against boys" in favour of Real, Mourinho said: "It was boys against boys because we have a group of boys, leaving aside Ricardo Carvalho, Iker and Alonso."