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May 25, 2009

Ramos: Madrid defeat down to motivation

Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos put his side's miserable home defeat against Real Mallorca down to a lack of motivation in the wake of their failed title bid.

In Madrid's final home game of the season, a half-empty Bernabeu watched their side slump to a 3-1 defeat to mid-table Mallorca and then jeered the players off at the end.

Gonzalo Higuain gave Madrid a 20th-minute lead but it was all downhill from there as goals from Juan Arango, Cleber Santana and Alhassane Keita earned Mallorca the spoils and consigned Ramos' side to a fourth successive league defeat.

The match was Madrid's first since they surrendered their Primera Division title to Barcelona last weekend after losing 3-2 at Villarreal, and Ramos felt that failure played a part in last night's performance.

"It's difficult to play football when there is no motivation, and it's normal that you relax somewhat when you aren't playing for anything," he said.

"When a team is playing for something there is always more tension and the expectation to give the best you have, but when there is nothing at stake it's only normal that subconsciously you relax.

"There is no-one to blame. It's all of us or none of us. Footballers are people, and when they don't have to fight they don't give the best of themselves."

Ramos, whose six-month contract in the hotseat runs out this summer, is determined to ensure his side give their all next weekend though when they complete their campaign against Osasuna.

Osasuna are currently third from bottom and one of five clubs who could still go down on the final weekend, and Ramos insists they owe it to all those teams to do their best in Pamplona.

"We must be professional," he said. "We have to play with the intention of winning the game. We know that we aren't in the best shape but our obligation is to do as well as possible."

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