Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said he was sad but not resigned to losing his job in the aftermath of his team’s 5-1 defeat.
‘We all know how it works in football. The responsibility is with the coach when the team loses but I still think Madrid’s season will get better,’ said the under-fire manager.
It seems unlikely he will remain in the job to see that improvement he believes will come. Real Madrid are now seven points behind Barcelona and stranded in mid-table.
‘Defeats always hurt and at the home of Barcelona even more so,’ Lopetegui added. ‘The result does no reflect the game.
‘I am sad but that is normal. It’s a blow but I have the strength to continue without any doubt.
‘We had control of the game and the chances in the second half and we had opportunities in the first half too but the game was over at 3-1.’
Valverde was asked if he would feel bad if Lopetegui was sacked he said:
‘I don’t like it when any coach is sacked whatever the team is.’
Praised for his substitutions in the game he added:
‘I know how football is. Sometimes you take a decision and it does not work out. Today things worked well.
‘We want to enjoy this game because we have beaten Madrid but there is a long way to go this season.
‘We are pleased for our supporters. But we have to keep our feet on the ground.’