Real Madrid enter Copa del Rey quarter-finals

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Adding to the frustration of senior identities at the club is the Numancia result came just 48 hours after coach Zinedine Zidane held the longest (53 minutes) crisis meeting with his squad since taking charge. "The pity is the goal before half-time, and also a goal at the end".

La Liga giants Real Madrid are reportedly seriously considering a move Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling.

The French legend had a near flawless start to his managerial career at Real Madrid, winning eight out possible ten trophies in his first two seasons.

Madrid has been under increased pressure since it lost to Barcelona 3-0 at home in its last game of 2017.

Zinedine Zidane accepted his Real Madrid contract "means nothing" as his side's troubles continued with a 2-2 home draw against second-tier Numancia in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. "I have to try to get each one of them to give a little bit more".

Madrid is in the knockout stages of the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, but it already trails Barcelona by 16 points with a game in hand near the halfway point of the Spanish league. "We are not doing as bad as people say". It has never been able to overcome this big of a gap and win La Liga.

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Last season's King's Cup runners-up Alaves beat third division Fomentera 2-0 to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate win thanks to second-half goals from Ermedin Demirovic and Alfonso Pedraza.

The Blaugrana are nine points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid in second place, while Zidane's reigning champions are stuck in fourth, a gargantuan 16 points separating them and their fierce Spanish rivals.

"We have to show on the field that we are improving", Zidane said.

Zidane, who this week confirmed he has renewed his contract with Madrid until 2020, said he was not anxious about the team being jeered by fans at the Bernabeu, but made a plea for their support.

"I think Thibaut first. I know how it goes, nothing more, even with this contract it does not change anything", he said.

Villarreal have the players to cause the hosts problems, but Zidane will demand a response from his side after a hard spell.