Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster is confident he will be in charge of the Spanish champions next year even if they fail to defend their title.
Schuster has had to contend with rumours that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is set to replace him at the end of the season ever since Madrid crashed out of the Champions League against Roma at the last 16 stage.
Both club president Ramon Calderon and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic have come out in defence of the German coach, but pressure has mounted on Schuster again following Real’s defeat at home to Valencia last Sunday.
That setback cut Madrid’s lead at the top of La Liga to four points, but Schuster claims he will not be sacked if second-placed Barcelona pip his side to the title.
“Not long ago Ramon Calderon told me that even if we don’t win the league I will continue at Real Madrid, because this is a project and we are building a team,” Schuster told Spanish newspaper Marca.
“We will continue with the second stage of that team building in the summer, and I am convinced that we will do it as league champions.
“I have complete faith in my president and I need nothing more.”
After the 3-2 defeat to Valencia at the Bernabeu on Sunday a number of Madrid players criticised Schuster for his tactics, and claimed that their coach would not talk to them.
But Schuster refuted claims that he had problems with some of the players, saying: “I’m not difficult with anybody, the players know they can talk with me and will be open with them.
“It’s true that from the outside I can seem rather closed. But all that (about problems with players) is just something that gets made up every time things are going badly.”
He has already started planning for next season, and was clear on the areas of the squad in need of strengthening.
“Just because we have lost one or two games doesn’t mean we are doomed forever, although we do need to improve,” he admitted.
“I’m clear on the team that I have, and I know where we need to improve.”