Aitor Karanka defends Jose Mourinho over Iker Casillas comments

Aitor Karanka
© PA Photos
Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka insists that Jose Mourinho's recent comments about Iker Casillas were taken out of context.

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka has defended manager Jose Mourinho over comments he made about goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

The former Chelsea boss found himself under fire from defender Pepe after declaring that he wished he had signed Diego Lopez to replace Casillas sooner.

Mourinho was jeered by Real supporters ahead of his team's 4-3 win over Real Valladolid, but Karanka insists that the remarks were taken out of context.

"I haven't heard what Pepe said but, if he said that there has been a lack of respect towards Iker, at no moment have we disrespected anyone," he said in a statement.

"It would be a lack of respect to 25 teammates if you selected someone who was not in a condition to play. The lack of respect would have been to select a player who wasn't right, instead of another.

"It is not that Mourinho regrets it {not signing Lopez after his first year), but his signing was requested and the club did not accept it. It is said that the coach has so much power, but it can't be so if a player is requested and the club don't bring him in."

However, Karanka refused to criticise the fans over the hostile reception they gave Mourinho.

"You have to respect the jeers for the coach, as I said after what happened in Dortmund. For the last three years, we have done our work, which people can like more or less. I respect them," he added.

"The reason we didn't come out into the technical zone is because we believed there wasn't anything worth saying. What there was to say, we discussed in the dressing room."

Real's win over Valladolid means that league leader Barcelona will have to wait a further week to clinch the La Liga title.

Aitor Karanka
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