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Restored Ramos puts 'issues' behind him

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos says he is looking to move on from recent differences of opinion with coach Jose Mourinho after returning to action for the club's 2-0 win against Rayo Vallecano.

• Mourinho's own secret footballer
• Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid

Ramos, 26, was publicly critical of Mourinho after a La Liga defeat to Sevilla and subsequently found himself omitted from Madrid's starting line-up for their Champions League victory over Manchester City last week.

However, the Spain international claimed he was not aware whether he had been dropped for the game, and stressed he would prefer any problems were not managed in the media after being restored to the first XI against Rayo.

"I do not know if it was a punishment," Ramos said. "There were technical reasons. For me you resolve family issues behind closed doors. By family I mean Real Madrid, which runs in my blood. What happened I will keep to myself."

As far as he was concerned the issue was now behind them, with the former Sevilla player adding: "I am keen to keep contributing my best form and my best performances. Footballers like to play as many games as possible. I am happy to return to the eleven."

After the Vallecas floodlights had been repaired earlier on Monday, following the postponement of the match on Sunday night, Madrid overcame a spirited but limited Rayo thanks to an early Karim Benzema strike and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty mid-way through the second half, to claim their first away win of the season.

Mourinho told reporters afterwards that he was happy with the commitment shown by his players, although they could play with more quality.

"I think if we had played with the same attitude in Getafe or in Sevilla we would have won," he said. "It was a difficult game and we needed to be fully motivated. We could have played better, although the opponent pressurised a lot and ran a lot. Today, the team was a team."

The Portuguese coach said he and his player had only learned for sure that the game would go ahead four hours before kick-off, adding: "It was the same for both teams. You arrive (Sunday night) ready to play, you are waiting and you do not play. You go and you do not know when the game will be. They confirmed when we were playing at 15.30. Both teams had to overcome this difficulty."

Mourinho accepted that his Real Madrid had yet to hit top form this season.

"For a long time last season we were more clinical and scored lots of goals, but at this moment we are not playing very very well," he said. "We can play better. There is not so much confidence. It is not the moment to worry about that lack of accuracy. Last year from three chances we scored three times. Now it is more difficult."

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