Real Madrid playmaker Isco has thrown his support behind under-fire head coach Julen Lopetegui, insisting it is the players' responsibility to turn around their fortunes.
The 52-year-old is under intense pressure after a run of no wins in five matches in all competitions, with a 2-1 defeat to Levante on Saturday leaving them seventh in LaLiga.
Widespread reports in Spain have suggested Lopetegui could be sacked before this week's Champions League clash with Plzen, or at least prior to the Clasico on Sunday.
Speaking alongside Lopetegui at a media conference on Monday, Isco was adamant the coach has the full confidence of the squad and claimed it would be “crazy” to replace him so soon in the season.
"I do not believe that the press has the power to sack a Madrid coach," he said.
💬 @isco_alarcon talks about his return to action ahead of tomorrow's #RMUCL clash. pic.twitter.com/6S3fiIRArj— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 22, 2018
"The controversy that you want to create in the dressing room is not there. We trust in the staff that we have and in what we have done.
"The boss has all our confidence. It would be crazy [to sack him]. You have to let him work.
"If you sack the coach you have to sack us all because we are the ones on the field – this is something for everyone, not just the coach.
"Historically, people who criticise us come back later with their tail between their legs once we win Champions League."