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Zinedine Zidane has enough "credit" in the bank for two trophyless seasons at Real Madrid, according to Ruben de la Red, who has jumped to the defence of the under-fire boss.
Despite the fact theBlancos gained some much-needed ground by beating Huesca 2-1at the weekend, pressure continues to build on Zidane with each passing game amid criticism of his managerial approach, but De la Red thinks he deserves more respect for his past achievements.
"What's more: I think coaches should claim much more than they do.And, in the case of Zidane, given what he has achieved, he should have a confidence margin to last up to 10 years.
"In five years, he has won three Champions Leagues and twoleague titles. Ultimately,you have enough credit for a long time.He should be able to afford to go two to three years without earning anything.
"You have to assess the situations.You cannot ask Zidane to be a league or Champions League winner with the injuries he is having and going two years without signing anyone.Let's be realistic.
"The situation they are going through is not normal.No matter how much you are Real Madrid, so much loss weakens you.Without Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos… it is very difficult to fight for the objectives the team is fighting for."
After being drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the Santiago Bernabeu hot seat in 2015, Zidane delivered three consecutive Champions League crowns, with final wins recorded over Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Liverpool - while also guiding the club to their 33rd La Liga title.
The 48-year-old, who also enjoyed an illustrious playing career at Madrid between 2001 and 2006, resigned after seeing his team lift the European Cup in Kyiv by beating Liverpool 3-1 in May 2018, but he was persuaded to return nine months later after a rapid decline in fortunes in his absence.
Zidane went on to mastermind another run to La Liga glory last season, and the Blancos are once again competing on multiple silverware fronts this term, with a Champions League round-of-16 tie against Atalanta looming later this month.
Several high-profile candidates have already been touted as potential replacements for Zidane amid Madrid's erratic form, including club legends Raul and Guti.
Raul is currently in charge of the club's Castilla side and would be a natural option to step into the Frenchman's shoes, but RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann and former Juventus bossMassimiliano Allegri have also been heavily linked with the job.