La Liga news

Casillas: Real distracted from derby

April 25, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Iker Casillas says that Real Madrid's hopes of a possible Champions League comeback against Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday are crowding out thoughts of Saturday's city derby against Atletico Madrid.

Iker Casillas was dropped to the bench as Real Madrid lost to Malaga
GettyImagesIker Casillas was out of favour at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho's side returned to training on Thursday afternoon to prepare for the weekend's game at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, with memories of the previous night's 4-1 defeat in Dortmund still clear in their minds.

Speaking at a lunchtime pre-training commercial appearance in Madrid the club captain accepted that it was difficult to focus on Atletico at the moment.

"It is difficult for us to think that before Tuesday we have a game, and against Atletico Madrid in the Calderón," Casillas said. "It is a derby and furthermore 14 years since they beat Real Madrid. Tuesday's game is more on our minds than Saturday's."

Madrid maintain slim hopes of a comeback at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu mostly due to a superb performance by keeper Diego Lopez at the Westfalenstadion, where the Galician made two late flying stops from Ilkay Gundogan and Robert Lewandowski to limit the German side to just four.

Casillas watched Lopez's display from the Madrid bench after famously falling out of favour with Mourinho earlier in the season and then breaking a hand last January. The long-serving club captain said that although fully fit again he had no arguments with his boss over his present substitute role.

"I have a great professional relationship [with Mourinho]," Casillas said. "I am training well and trying to help the team, although not in the way I have for 14 years. I support whoever plays in goals. That decision is made by someone else, not me, but I am happy because my hand has been phenomenal since I received the medical all clear. I will have to wait for my opportunity."