Real Madrid coach Pellegrini brushes aside criticism ahead of Getafe game

10:49, March 25, 2010      

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Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini brushed aside criticism of his management 24 hours ahead of his side’s trip to play local rivals Getafe.

Real Madrid is level on points at the top of the Primera Liga with FC Barcelona. Both teams are 18 points clear of third placed Valencia and the race for the title is clearly down to the two biggest clubs in Spain yet again.

Both teams have achieved their best ever points totals for this stage of the season, but Pellegrini has been a constant target for criticism from sections of the pro-Real Madrid press.

The criticism is over his management style and the fact that at times his side doesn’t play good football to win games, relying instead on the firepower provided by strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain. It came to a head two weeks ago following the teams shock exit from the Champions League.

However, Pellegrini says that he is taking the criticism in his stride.

"I no longer feel surprised by anything that has been published in the media recently. This is a democracy and people are free to express what they think," he said.

"I have the backing of the squad and the club. I have seen total commitment from the team. We score goals and we please the fans, and that is what counts. This team is in great form in La Liga," said the Real Madrid coach, who was not giving away his possible starting line up for Thursday's game.

"I am still unsure as to who will start against Getafe. Gago has a chance, but so do the rest of his teammates," he said, before ruling out big money summer signings Kaka and Karim Benzema, who are both injured.

"I hope Kaka and Benzema are able to rejoin the team next week. They are very important to us and their talent is unquestionable," said Pellegrini.

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