Lopetegui dismisses uncertain future after Madrid hit 33-year drought

Vitoria (Spain): Julen Lopetegui insisted it is too early to be questioning his future despite Real Madrid suffering a shock defeat by Alaves to make it four games without a victory. It is four games without a goal too for the European champions, their longest scoring drought since 1985, as Manu Garcia headed home in the 95th minute to send the Mendizorrotza Stadium wild. It is the first time they have beaten Madrid at home in 87 years. Alaves fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their stunning 1-0 win and the chants continued long after the final whistle.

Lopetegui had been asked on Friday if he felt under pressure at the club he left Spain for on the eve of the World Cup and the question was put to him again after the match here. “It interests you but is not a question that concerns me,” Lopetegui said. “We know what the life of a coach is, especially at Real Madrid, but we also know it is October and you have to keep perspective and stay calm.” Captain Sergio Ramos was more emphatic. “It’s other people who make those decisions but it’s never good to have a change of coach,” he said. “It would be crazy.” Talk of change feels premature but it will increase if Madrid fail to find fluency soon and, in particular, if Barca pull away. The Clasico at the Camp Nou looms at the end of the month. “We are disappointed,” Lopetegui added. “In the end, defeat is a harsh punishment.”

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