Real Madrid: Rafael Benitez still focused on positives

Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez

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Rafael Benitez refused to drawn on whether his future is in doubt at Real Madrid after his side drew 2-2 at Valencia on Sunday.

The capital club twice led at La Mestalla but, having gone down to 10 men in the second half, were not able to cling on for three points even when Gareth Bale scored their second goal eight minutes from the end.

Instead, it was Valencia that went straight up the other end and levelled through Paco Alcacer.

Benitez felt his side deserved enormous credit for chasing the game away from home after Mateo Kovacic’s red card and he insisted the focus should be on their performance and not his future.

He told reporters: “You are free to ask that question, but it is looking at it the wrong way. For the effort we deserve more praise than anything else.

“I cannot prevent speculation about whether I continue, but I can make the team work as it has today. We were capable of getting the three points.”

Benitez said his sole regret was not managing to defend the lead given to his team by Bale’s terrific header but he said some of the credit for that had to go to Gary Neville’s Valencia for their response.

He said: “With 10 players we had to make an effort, and the team has done. We can only regret that after going 2-1 ahead, we conceded in the next minute.

“Maybe we were lacking a bit of concentration after we went 2-1 up or maybe the opposition reacted very well.” Real Madrid are 6.00 to win La Liga this season. Barcelona are 1.20 while current table-toppers Atletico Madrid are 10.00.

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