Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid’s season will not be derailed should they fail to win the derby with Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
The capital clubs go head-to-head at the Santiago Bernabeu knowing that they cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to maintain a challenge to Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Madrid sit nine points behind Luis Enrique’s side in third after last week’s draw with Malaga, while Atletico are just a point ahead in second, yet Zidane has stressed that their campaign does not rest entirely on a victory over Diego Simeone’s side.
“The derby is one more game, we have to give our best as always. It’ll be difficult,” the Frenchman said on Friday.
“The players know what they have to do. We’re going to give our best. The important thing for us is to know what we have to do on the pitch.
“Atletico are not only a team who defend. We know it’s difficult. We have analysed the mistakes from Malaga and worked on them this week.
“Whatever happens, we will not lower our arms until the end. There are points to play for. Our season is not over tomorrow.
“I want to see a good game of football. We have our weapons and we’ll try to use them well.
“It’s important for the fans, I ask them to get behind the team, as they always do. A derby is always special.”
Zidane confirmed that Marcelo will miss the game after sitting out training on Friday with a calf problem, while Gareth Bale is also not likely to be risked, though Pepe could make his return from a foot injury after completing the session unscathed.