Pepe: Injuries not an issue at Real

Real Madrid defender Pepe preferred not to dwell on his side’s injury list despite seeing the title hopefuls held to a disappointing goalless draw against Sporting Gijon.

Real Madrid defender Pepe preferred not to dwell on his side’s injury list despite seeing the title hopefuls held to a disappointing goalless draw against Sporting Gijon.

Madrid went into last night’s clash without attacking quartet Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain and Ruud van Nistelrooy due to injuries and without them Manuel Pellegrini’s side failed to find the back of the net for the first time this season.

Prior to the game Madrid had netted 31 goals in just 10 league and Champions League matches, while last term they thrashing Sporting 7-1 and 4-0 in their two Primera Division meetings.

But despite creating chances last night they could not find the breakthrough.

Losing four forwards of that calibre would hurt any side, but Pepe said: “Every player in the squad is capable of playing for Real Madrid. There’s no need to talk about the absences, we need to talk about those of us who are here.

“We worked hard, we all fought for the victory, but we lacked precision in front of goal. Our objective was to win and pick up the three points, but we’ve taken a point from a very tough place to play at. Sporting are a very well-organised team.”

Madrid’s injury problems are not limited to their strikeforce either, with Pepe, Ezequiel Garay and Xabi Alonso all finishing last night’s game with problems.

“We’ve played eight games in a month, without forgetting international commitments. Xabi Alonso has a lot of games under his belt, including for his country, and Garay felt extremely tired because it was a tough pitch,” said Pepe.

Despite the draw Madrid went top of the Primera Division table, although defending champions Barcelona can move three points clear if they win their game in hand.

“The league is very long and we can be top,” added Pepe.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox