I never said it'd be me and 10 others – Isco accepts Lopetegui rotation

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Isco insists he has no problem with Julen Lopetegui's rotation policy at Real Madrid, pointing out it was the media and not himself who were convinced he would be an automatic starter.

Madrid dropped points for the first time this season in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao, as Isco came off the bench to rescue them after the break.

It was the second LaLiga game in a row that Isco has been left out of the starting XI, after also appearing as a substitute against Leganes before the international break.

Such a situation has come as a surprise to some in Spain, considering many expected Isco to be a crucial part of Lopetegui's team after working together to great success with the national side in the past.

But Isco is adamant rotation is not an issue.

"It's not just me in the team," said the 26-year-old. "There are other team-mates who may be better than me and that's why the coach chooses his starting line-up.

"All that stuff about how it was going to be Isco and 10 more under Lopetegui, that's what you [reporters] were saying.

"It's a long season and we'll need to be prepared. As the coach says, the important thing is that everyone is ready and ready to meet the objectives."

With Barcelona having overturned a deficit to win on Saturday, Madrid are two points behind their rivals at the summit.