Ramos grateful for refreshing break

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is happy to have taken a break from football and feels his side will fare much better time this year than in the recent past.

Football News: Sergio Ramos.

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

Madrid start the new year with a Copa del Rey fixture against Real Sociedad on Sunday and have much work to do in the league as they are 16 points behind league leaders Barcelona.

The team failed to grind out the wins last year and were defeated by Real Betis, Getafe and Malaga while they also dropped points against Barcelona, Valencia and Espanyol. Moreover, they were less than impressive in the Champions League group stages as they were beaten to the top spot of their group by Borussia Dortmund.

Ramos, however, feels that the winter break allowed them to reflect on their poor run of results and identify the various factors that prevented them from replicating their record-breaking form from the previous season.

"When results do not come, you must keep a cool head and not act on impulse," Ramos told reporters after Thursday's training session. "In football you can have a bad run and maybe in the last games things did not go as we wanted.

"Above all in front of goal we were not as efficient as last season, but the holidays gave us a chance to reflect and demand more of ourselves, me too. Maybe we can give more. But we are on a good path and the attitude is always good."

The ex-Sevilla defender also downplayed the furore that enveloped the Bernabeu, and coach Jose Mourinho, after the Portuguese controversially dropped captain Iker Casillas in the defeat to Malaga.

"These are technical decisions [made by Mourinho] and we have nothing to do with them. As Iker said, we are not machines and we have [good and bad] moments. But above all these are technical decisions and there is nothing more to say," he explained.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Madrid as Fabio Coentrao failed to show up for the first training session of the year while Pepe also underwent surgery for an ankle injury. Furthermore, Ramos is suspended for the game over the weekend and therefore a makeshift defence will likely help protect Casillas' goal.

"The injury to a great player [like Pepe] will have an effect," Ramos said.

"He has been key for us and we will miss him. [But Varane] has tremendous qualities. He can be a great footballer. He is learning from the players here. He is a Madrid quality centre-half.

"There is no better way to begin the year than putting together some wins. That gets back some normality.

"It is true that the league is difficult, but not impossible.

"Obviously there is a lot of love here for the Champions League, and we will try and go for that to bring back more joy for the fans."

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