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Carlos Forjanes | 10/01/2013
Iker Casillas has vowed to work even harder and win his place back in the Real Madrid team, after he was dropped by José Mourinho for the club's last two league games.
"I have to train harder, grit my teeth and show Mourinho that he is wrong. A little setback like this isn't bad, these things make you stronger," he told the press at a promotional event on Thursday, the day after he kept a clean sheet as Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-0 to progress to the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey.
"I love challenges. I want to show myself that in the hardest of times I am worthy of this profession, which I've been training for since I was four years old. I have to improve and be even better. I need to train harder so I can demonstrate that I am able to get back into the team and regain the confidence I've lost."
Mourinho's possible departure: "I don't know what he will decide, as far as I know, he has a contract until 2016. I also have a contract with my club and my plan is to complete it. My dream was always to start my career here and retire here. Madrid is a marvellous club. I am from Madrid and I've played for the best club possible."
The support he received from the Bernabéu crowd: "I am grateful for the support they have always shown me. Since I was 17 I've been under the spotlight and I've always wanted the fans to feel proud of me. I feel flattered when they applaud me and chant my name."
Mourinho's accusation that he was 'in his comfort zone': "It doesn't annoy me, it's come from the man in charge of the team. What I have to do is train more. I am only competing with myself, I need to prepare better and regain the coach's confidence."
Being left on the bench vs Málaga: "Mourinho didn't speak to me to tell me I was playing and he doesn't have to speak to me when I don't play. Also, [Antonio] Adán is an excellent goalkeeper, a lovely guy and a friend. The best interests of the team is more important than me."
Mourinho's absence from the Ballon d'Or ceremony: "The boss said he had to prepare for the game against Celta, because it would be a very difficult game, and he was proved right, his decision was for the good of the club. In any case, the club was well represented in Zurich by the president. We enjoy winning awards, being included in the team of the year was a big thing for me and for my four team-mates (Xabi Alonso, Marcelo, Cristiano and Sergio Ramos)."
Why he refused to take the captain's armband from Cristiano vs Real Sociedad: "I didn't accept it because the person who starts the game as captain should finish it as captain. Also, Cristiano is on brilliant form at the moment and he is driving the team forward ,and being captain was good for him."
Message to the Madrid support: "The fans should know that we are all together, and we will improve. We know that things are tough, but we need their help in the league, the Copa and the Champions League."
His state of mind: "I'm not having a bad time, honestly. It's a different situation but I am living with it. I just have to show that I am worth a place in the starting line up and that I can compete with Adán. Being named the best goalkeeper in the world in 2012 is in the past, now I want to try and be it again in 2013."
Adán's sending off: "He was sent off after six minutes but two years ago I was sent off after 45 seconds. He has the support of his team-mates and it's plain to see that everyone has faith in him. We have all helped him out."
Experience on the bench: "You have to take the positive from these things. It has been good for me, I just need to train and keep my mouth shut."
His performance against Celta: "I haven't had as bad a season as everyone thinks. I'm not a machine, I have ups and downs. A goalkeeper has to feel comfortable, yesterday I felt comfortable and it could be the start of something. Too much has been said about me, more than I would have liked."
The rest of the season: "Our performances have been below what's expected of us. Last year we won a very difficult league, now we are looking for consistency. Perhaps it's too late to try and win the league, but we are still thinking about it. We know it's almost impossible, but we have to fight for the people who are suffering because of the situation we are in."