Madrid fighting for second place, says Karanka

Jose Mourinho’s assistant has insisted that his side will not slack off in La Liga, despite their exertions on other fronts

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka is adamant his team will still fight in La Liga, despite their progress in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

Despite Saturday’s 5-2 win over Mallorca, the capital club sit 10 points behind Barcelona in the table, but the 39-year-old has insisted that they will not let up in their pursuit of second place.

“I think the message is that we have to fight for second place,” the 39-year-old was quoted as saying by AS. “Right now what we’re concentrating on is getting second.

“We’re aware of the mistakes that have been made, but we also know the players that we have. That’s what the squad is there for. We choose a starting line-up to win each match.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the first-half, but corrected it at the break. If things don’t go well like against Deportivo or today, what’s important is that we can change the dynamic of each game.

“Higuain put in a lot of effort against Celta but he couldn’t find the back of the net. Today he scored, and that will give him confidence. That’s good.”

Meanwhile, Higuain, who scored twice in the Bernabeu win, claimed that Madrid could yet secure the title.

“Our aim is to put pressure on Barcelona and not to let them relax for one second. There is still a long way to go. We’re going to fight until the very end,” Higuain insisted.

“I’m very happy. Mallorca are on a good run of form and took the lead twice, but we gritted our teeth and showed what type of football we can play.

Queried about his pass to fellow striker Karim Benzema for the Frenchman’s goal, he added: “He was better placed. Competition with Benzema is good for the team.”

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