Real Madrid defender Pepe has called for the club to get behind under-pressure boss Carlo Ancelotti and says he is undoubtedly the right man for the job.
Ancelotti’s future at Santiago Bernabeu is uncertain, with reports suggesting he could be sacked by the club after a poor spell of form resulted in Tuesday’s shock 4-3 defeat at home to Schalke in the Champions League.
The Italian helped Real Madrid win their tenth Champions League and the Copa del Rey in his debut season after replacing Jose Mourinho in 2013.
He also guided the club to a record 22-match winning run earlier this season but results have been far less consistent since the winter break with five defeats and two draws in their 15 games this calendar year.
It has led to wild speculation about Ancelotti’s position at the club, but Pepe insists they would be wrong to let him go.
“There’s no doubt that Ancelotti must continue,” he told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope. “He is very good and in a short spell in charge he has given us a lot of joy.”
The Portugal centre-back also insisted he does not wish former boss and countryman Mourinho was still in charge of the La Liga leaders.
“I don’t miss Mourinho,” Pepe added. “I can assure you Ancelotti is not soft.
“He has an impressive CV and he demands a lot. We work with more intensity with Ancelotti than we did with Mourinho.
“Thanks to God that I’ve had a coach like Ancelotti. He has helped me a lot.”
Real Madrid are without a win in two league games and are priced at 1.05 to end that with victory on Sunday over Levante, who are valued at 25.00.