Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said he could be under pressure like Ernesto Valverde was at Barcelona before his dismissal, should his side suffer consecutive defeats.
Barcelona appointed Quique Setien as manager, replacing Valverde, who was sacked on the back of Barca’s Supercopa elimination to Atletico Madrid.
Zidane said he sympathised with his former rival, but warned a bad run of results for Madrid and he would be under pressure.
“It’s not a good situation” Zidane said at a news conference ahead of Real Madrid’s match with Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday. “He has shown he is a really good coach and I respect him. Every coach knows the situation at a big club.”
“I know that if we lose two games, they will criticise me in the same way that they did a month and a half ago. We can’t always play well.”
Valverde was relieved of his duties by Barcelona despite being top of the La Liga table midway through the season.
“It’s a Barcelona that will compete as always,” Zidane said when asked about the appointment of Setien. “They will do their work and we’ll do ours. I expect a competitive team.”
Madrid face Sevilla on Saturday, in a clash which sees former manager Julen Lopetegui return to the Bernabeu.
“He’s a great coach and he always has been,” Zidane said. “I don’t want to talk about his time at Madrid.
“What I can say is he is a good coach. I hope he’s received well.”
Real Madrid captain — and Sevilla youth product — Sergio Ramos has been battling to regain full fitness ahead of the high-profile fixture, having suffered an ankle injury in Madrid’s Supercopa final win on penalties over Atletico.
“Sergio always wants to play, we know the character he has,” Zidane said. “You will see tomorrow if he’s there or not.
“He’s done everything this week to be fit. He’s an example for everyone to follow.”
Sources have told ESPN that Ramos is not yet fully fit and a major doubt for the Sevilla game. He is more likely to return for the midweek Copa del Rey clash at Unionistas or away at Real Valladolid next weekend.