MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has admitted that continued speculation about his future is bothering him as he prepares to face Galatasaray in the Champions League Group A on Tuesday.
The "Royal" arrived in Istanbul after a shock 1-0 defeat of Real Mallorca, his first this season in the Primera Liga, to give up the lead to arch-rivals Barcelona.
As was the case with a 3-0 defeat by Paris St Germain in the Champions League last month, local media speculated after the last defeat that Zizo's position was in danger and that Jose Mourinho was the candidate to succeed him.
"I am not saying I am not upset (by speculation) but rather annoying me, but all I can do is make the utmost effort and think positively," Zidane, who won three Champions League titles as coach, told a news conference on Monday.
"What happened is a thing of the past. In football, everything I have done is quickly forgotten. What is important is what you do in the present."
The 13-time European champions are bottom of Group A with a point, and a defeat against the Turkish side will keep their hopes of the competition in the wind.
But Zidane believes his team can change the situation.
"We know that we had a bad start in the Champions League, but tomorrow is a new match and we will try to win it. Every game of Real Madrid is like a final. I arrived at the team for the first time 18 years ago and I know how responsible and always under pressure."
Commander Sergio Ramos also said the players were weary of talking about doubts about Zidane's position.
The Frenchman returned to the club in March, 10 months after his resignation, following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.
"It will be very easy for the club to say that Zidane will continue until the end of the season, and then the speculation will end. We are tired of hearing the news of all the coaches coming to Real Madrid."
"We focus on winning just tomorrow, and everybody has a way of assessing the situation, but we feel reassured and know that working hard has a reward."
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric continue to miss, but Toni Kroos is back in the squad.