The pressure is set to be cranked up on Zinedine Zidane after his Real Madrid side suffered a 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Espanyol on Tuesday.
Gerard Moreno’s last-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two teams in Catalonia and the result leaves Los Blancos a full 14 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Zidane’s men have now lost five times in the league this season, twice more than they did during the entire 2016-17 campaign.
The Frenchman is coming under increased pressure, although he insists his players were unfortunate to lose on Tuesday night.
“We have missed a bit of everything. We started well and had chances to score, but the second half was worse,” Zidane said.
“Espanyol had few opportunities. It is a defeat that hurts and a bad result – I’m sorry for the players.
“Sometimes you do not understand football. We had a few moments in the second half, but you have to accept the difficult times.”
The 45-year-old has guided Real to Champions League glory in each of the last two years and that competition could once again prove to be his salvation. Los Blancos currently hold a 3-1 advantage over Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the second-leg of their last 16 tie.
The return match in Paris is set to take place next Tuesday and the writing could be on the wall for ‘Zizou’ if his side fails to progress through to the last eight of the competition.
The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Joachim Low have been linked with succeeding Zidane at the Bernabeu – although all three men are currently under contract elsewhere, which means a change in manager may not take place until the end of the season.
Before their Champions League clash with PSG, Real will get the chance to bounce back from their league disappointment when they play host to city rivals Getafe on Saturday.