Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has vowed to fight until the death on all fronts as he targets silverware in his first season at the helm.
The Champions League winners head into Sunday’s LaLiga trip to Girona having opened their campaign with a regulation 2-0 victory over Getafe at the Bernabeu last weekend.
They do so with their new manager having attempted to instil a non-nonsense mentality in his squad.
Lopetegui told a press conference: “Each game is decisive for the league and three points are worth as much today as in March.
“The goal is to be mentally strong. Those who are, I like a lot, and we will go to death for the league and all competitions.”
Lopetegui’s players will run out at Montilivi with revenge in mind after losing 2-1 there last season as second-half goals from Cristhian Stuani and Portu cancelled out Isco’s opener.
The Real boss said: “We know what happened last year and we want to prepare well to arrive in the best possible and most balanced way to tackle the game.”
Lopetegui inherited a squad packed with talent from predecessor Zinedine Zidane, but while he wants his players to continue to express themselves, he insists results are what matter.
He said: “The style of any team, the most important thing is the players. I have great players who interpret it perfectly.
“The only objective is to win the matches. We want to be able to master all aspects of the game, but it’s the players that make the difference.
“There is a lot of talk about style and possession and I can value it or not, but our main objective above all is to win.”
Girona kicked off the new season with a goalless home draw against Real Valladolid, and coach Eusebio Sacristan knows his side are in for a tough evening despite Real being unable to call upon departed superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
He told a press conference: “Madrid without Cristiano will still be very strong. Other players will take centre stage.
“The Madrid coach gives them freedom of movement, they create superiority on the pitch, they have physical and technical power – through this freedom, they try to overcome rivals.
“We have to do things very well to win.”
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