Mourinho upbeat despite erratic form
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho today laid rest to rumours about his future saying he is happy at the club, which he said can still win the league despite losing ground to rivals Barcelona.
"We are working and improving on a structural and functional level, heading in a direction I like very much," he told the club's website. "I believe this will help make the club powerful from a sports viewpoint, and allow it to win titles once more. My decisions go hand in hand with the capacity I have to do my job the best way I possibly can, and I am currently happy with the situation I'm in."
Mourinho was speaking ahead of tomorrow's league game at home to Real Sociedad, and after the club last Sunday tasted a shock 1-0 defeat at Osasuna to fall seven points behind Barcelona in the league. But he remains upbeat about Real's league chances.
"I don't care about the points difference between us and our main opponent," he said. "The favourite team to win La Liga is the side that leads the table, but we still have a mathematical chance to win. We'll have to continue winning games and doing our job."
Speculation about 48-year-old Mourinho's future at Real has been fuelled by reported friction with sporting director Jorge Valdano, largely over the role of striker Karim Benzema, whom the coach has often left on the bench. But Mourinho, who arrived at the Bernabeu (stadium) last summer after leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble including the UEFA Champions League, hailed the French international.
"Benzema is doing much better," he said today. "He didn't score in our last match, but the Bernabeu applauded his efforts nevertheless. This means the fans believe he is playing very well. His physical and psychological efforts in the game are very high. He always tries to help his teammates and to score."
Ronaldo deadly and ever-present
Mourinho also had high praise for his fellow Portuguese national Cristiano Ronaldo, the top scorer in La Liga so far this season."Cristiano has scored 32 goals this season. His numbers are truly dramatic, tallying one strike every two games, having an enormous amount of playing time.
"He only missed the Copa match against Levante. He's never been suspended or injured, he's even played sick... I believe the season would continue to be fantastic for him even if he didn't score any more goals."
On tomorrow's game, he said "Real Sociedad are playing very well and we'll have to be careful because they happen to be one of my favourite teams. Our first leg encounter against them was complicated because they played very well against us, not because we played badly. They are a difficult team to beat."
Real also face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final this season after the side defeated holders Sevilla 2-0 on Wednesday to reach their first final since 2004.