Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano has given his backing to coach Manuel Pellegrini despite their humiliating exit from the Copa del Rey at the hands of third-tier Alcorcon on Tuesday night.
The big-spending outfit won the second leg 1-0 at home but still lost 4-1 on aggregate to the tiny Segunda B team.
“I understand the mood of the fans and their emotions but the club cannot act on emotions,” Valdano told Spanish TV after some supporters had chanted for Pellegrini to quit. “We remain calm. There is absolute confidence in the coach. We know we have to keep working intensively and with humility so we don’t suffer any more surprises of this nature.”
Chants of “Pellegrini quit” rang out around the Bernabeu for around 20 seconds when the coach took off midfielder Lassana Diarra in the second half and replaced him with defender Marcelo.
The coach said he took Diarra off because the player had missed a week’s training recently for family reasons and he did not want to risk him getting injured.
“Of course being knocked out of the King’s Cup by a side from Segunda B cannot be considered a success,” Pellegrini told reporters. “We are in the middle of a campaign I am sure will end on a successful note, whatever has happened here today. I am thinking more about the team than myself.
“Everyone can made their own judgments, we were knocked out by a team from the Segunda B, we can feel regret, but it’s already over.
”I have no doubt that the players are with me. It’s difficult to overcome a 4-0 deficit because you are playing against many factors. I would’ve liked to continue (in the cup) but we are at the start of a season that I’m sure is going to be very good.”
Earlier on Tuesday president Florentino Perez played down the club’s trophy expectations this season.
“Our dream is to build a spectacular team but it would not be a failure if we didn’t win a title,” Perez told Spanish television station Cuatro. “We are at the start of a new project. We are giving it stability. We aren’t going to get nervous because it hasn’t all come together perfectly in the first year.”