Mourinho quiet on 'keeper, admits league is lost

Madrid, Jan 6 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho refused to clear doubts over who would be his side's goalkeeper for La Liga game at home to Real Sociedad.

Mourinho was asked Saturday whether Spain and Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas would return to the goal after he had been surprisingly dropped in favour of Antonio Adan in the last game of 2012, which Madrid lost 2-3 in Malaga, reports Xinhua.

Casilllas had said Wednesday that he was expecting to have to work to win back his place and although Mourinho would not say who would play, he did leave a message for the man who was Friday named the best keeper in the world for the fifth year in succession by the Foundation for Football History and Statistics.

"I have confidence in every position, not just in goal as confidence is vital for everyone, not just for goalkeepers as confidence usually leads to good performances," said Mourinho, who then added that it was important to find balance in this aspect because "when you are in a permanent comfort zone it is not good for the players".

"Neither of the goalkeepers know who is going to play, all I can say is that whoever plays against Real Sociedad will not play against Celta (in the cup) Wednesday."

Mourinho expressed his satisfaction at the return of striker Gonzalo Higuain after two months out because of injury but admitted that with his side 16 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona it was virtually impossible to win the league.

"I won't use it to make changes, I am going to use the league as if we were leaders or only a few points off the lead and without thinking about other competitions. I cannot see me working at less than the level that Real Madrid demands.

"My aim for 2013 is to try and win every game and every game we fail to win, will be a disappointment," said Mourinho.

Elsewhere, FC Barcelona assistant coach Jaume Roura confirmed that coach Tito Vilanova would sit in the Barca dugout for their home game against local rivals Espanyol Sunday.

Vilanova will be in the dugout less than three weeks after undergoing an operation for cancer in his parotid gland Dec 20.

"Tito feels strong and he will be in the dugout," confirmed Roura, who had directed Barca's last game of 2012 away to Valladolid.