Casillas `working hard` to regain Real Madrid spot

Updated: Jan 02, 2013, 10:16 AM IST

London: The Spain goalkeeper is desperate to return to the Blancos first team, as he issued a rallying call to his team-mates ahead of their next two games - both at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Iker Casillas has insisted he is pulling out all the stops in training to regain his place in Real Madrid`s starting XI.

The 31-year-old was dropped for Los Blancos` recent 3-2 Liga defeat to Malaga by coach Jose Mourinho, with deputy Antonio Adan taking up residency between the posts instead.

However, speaking at a press conference after the side`s first training session since the winter break, the Spain international stressed that he is doing all he can to work his way back into contention.

"I`m working hard in training to fight for my place [in the squad]," Casillas said.

"It is the objective that I am aiming for and it is the coach who decides whether I play in the next game or not. [Mourinho] has our full support and confidence.

"I am very well. I`m not a machine, I have to train every day and there are times when I don`t feel good, but I feel fine.

"Ahead of each match, each player must prepare themselves in advance, both technically and in the eyes of Aitor [Karanka] and Silvino [Louro], the latter of whom I`ve learnt very much from.

"You have to fight and be available to the coach when he sees fit [to make the call]."

Madrid currently find themselves third in the Spanish top flight - 16 points behind leaders Barcelona - and Casillas has urged his colleagues to rectify the situation and use the turn of the year as a reference point for the revival of their title defence.

"No, the word [to describe our situation] is not tension," he added. "When things don`t go well, it means we are low on morale.
"The players have to be wanting more and cannot be sad. Our goal is to remain ambitious. The day I have no ambition left is the day that I will not be sitting here.

"We are 16 points off the pace, it`s not what we wanted but 2013 has arrived, and, as I said last week, what we have to do is try to cut the deficit.

"I know the situation is difficult but it`s not impossible."