It is often said that a man only dies once hence Real Madrid Coach Julen Lopetegui has refused to nurse any fear even as speculations mounts over his future.
The bad situation for Lopetegui got worse after Alaves turned up the heat yet further on the Real Madrid coach with a dramatic 1-0 stoppage-time victory at Mendizorrotza.
Lopetegui had called for a response from the midweek Champions League loss away to CSKA Moscow, which followed a disappointing goalless draw at home in the Madrid derby and a 3-0 LaLiga defeat at Sevilla.
However, despite captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Gareth Bale all coming back into the side, Los Blancos once again lacked a cutting edge.
Asked about his position at the post-match press conference, the Real boss said: ‘It’s not something I’m concerned about, that’s your job and I’m sure you’ll do it.
‘I have to be outside that. We are in October. We have to remain calm from the inside in light of this negative situation.
‘The message (to the supporters) is that this team have been working like beasts for the last three months and they will get back to winning ways.’
Lopetegui, though, accepted the manner of the defeat was hard to take, while the loss of Bale and also Karim Benzema to injury was a further blow.
Lopetegui said: ‘Karim and Gareth had injuries, so we had to make decisions regarding changes. That’s football, that’s the way it goes, and today all the negatives came out.
‘This run without key players isn’t normal. It’s also hugely important that we start scoring goals, and we will do that. The coach is always responsible.
‘We have the international break now, so we can get back to what we’re doing.’
Ramos offered his backing to the under-fire coach, saying a change in the dug-out would be counter-productive.
‘As a squad, it is not good when the coach is changed around,’ he said on the club website. ‘It would be ludicrous, this team are fighting for the top spots.
‘If people say Real Madrid are dead they are very wrong, we are going to fight to the death because it is our DNA and that is what we are used to doing.’
Saturday’s victory was a first for Alaves over Real Madrid in 18 years.
Alaves coach Abelardo, whose side lie third, level on points at the top of the table with Barcelona and Real, told reporters: ‘We played a great match. This was down to the merits of a fantastic team.
‘Where we are now is a dream, but our fight (for the season) is not over.