Casillas urges teammates to lift their game

Apr 10, 2012, 07:37 IST | PA Sport

Skipper Casillas urges teammates to up their game or risk losing the title after 0-0 stalemate against Valencia; draw reduces Real's lead over second-placed Barcelona to just four points

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas insists Real Madrid cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after dropping two more points in the race for the Primera Division title. Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Valencia at the Bernabeu to leave themselves just four points clear of Barcelona at the top.

Wasteful: Real Madrid players frustrated after Cristiano Ronaldo fails to score (inset) Iker Casillas. Pic/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho’s side have now dropped six points in their last five games, while they still have to face Barca — who face Getafe tonight — at the Nou Camp later this month.

But Casillas feels the players have to put Sunday night’s disappointment behind them and focus on the Madrid derby against Atletico. “We had more chances than Valencia, but they also had several and we could have dropped more points,” he said on the club’s website.

“Mentality is very important. The lead we had has been reduced, but we shouldn’t cry about it. We have a large lead, but it isn’t definitive and we must continue focussing on one game at a time.

“We must focus on winning against Atletico Madrid. This moves very quickly and we play many games in few days. We have to go on. “The derby will be a difficult match and we expect Atletico to be motivated, especially after their defeat against Levante and because they haven’t defeated us in a very long time.

“They’ve reached the Europa League semi-finals and they have to continue winning in order to stay at the top of their game. “Every match is vital and they’ll all be like finals, so we’ll think about Bayern Munich (in the Champions League semi-finals), Sporting (Gijon) and Barcelona after facing Atletico, who are the ones that matter to us right now.

“We want to take the three points we failed to take last night. Real Madrid can lose the league title because we haven’t won it yet mathematically and there is a team close behind that also have a lot at stake. “We cannot live just on the fact that our lead used to be 10 and eight points strong.”

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