Casillas: Omissions may be 'jolt' I need
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas says being dropped recently could be the "jolt" that inspires him to bounce back and improve his performances.
The club captain told reporters in Madrid on Thursday that he now planned to work hard to prove to Jose Mourinho that he should not have been dropped for Madrid's recent La Liga games against Malaga and Real Sociedad.
"Sometimes a jolt like this can be good, it makes you feel alive," Casillas said. "You must take something positive from everything. This is a chance to improve, to grit my teeth and show the coach he has been mistaken."
Casillas was called on early in Sunday's 4-3 Primera Division win over Real Sociedad when replacement Antonio Adan was sent off, then started Wednesday's 4-0 Copa del Rey victory against Celta Vigo and should again be between the posts at Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday as Adan is suspended.
The World Cup and double European Championship winner said he had no issue with Mourinho's comments last week that it was not good for any player to become too comfortable in their position.
"What Mourinho said did not bother me," Casillas said. "It comes from the person in charge of the team. It is all about what he thinks and believes. What I have to do is train more and be as driven as possible to make my return. My toughest battle is with myself and regaining the coach's confidence."
The intensified battle for the keeper's jersey at Madrid had not affected Casillas relationship with Adan, with the Spain skipper adding: "Adan is an excellent keeper, a great guy and a friend. [Anyway] the good of the team is much more important than my situation."
Even with Madrid third in the Primera Division and 16 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, Casillas did not rule out a comeback, remembering the 2006-07 season when Fabio Capello's Madrid hauled back long-time leaders Barca to take the title.
"I do not think that the season has been so bad," he said. "I hope this is the beginning of something. Our performances compared to last season have not been the same. We won a very tough and long league season. We want to find that continuity.
"Now we have to keep thinking about fighting for the league. Five years ago we managed to close the gap. We will try to scrap and fight because we have a lot of support behind us."
Casillas echoed team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo's call after the Copa victory over Celta for Madrid's fans to unite and get behind the team.
"I have to ask us the fans to be together and united with us," the keeper said. "With their support we will be much better. We need to turn things around a league that looks difficult. If we are all together, it will go better. I support what Cristiano said yesterday, which was along the same lines."