Jose Mourinho has defended his decision to drop Iker Casillas for Antonio Adan in Real Madrid's 3-2 defeat at Malaga.
Many eyebrows were raised before the game had even begun when it had been revealed that the Portuguese coach was choosing to favor the inexperienced backup shot-stopper.
But the ex-Chelsea and Inter boss insisted that Adan is performing better than Casillas at the moment, in his opinion, and insisted that there was no other motive than form in his selection.
"It was a technical decision, the coach’s decision," Mourinho told reporters after the match. "It is the coach who analyses the situation and the players that are available, and then the coach chooses his team to play. It is a purely technical decision. You can invent the stories you want, but it is a technical decision, nothing more. My opinion counts and no others.
"In my opinion, Adan is better than Iker at the moment. As it's the coach who chooses, and as I have only as valid opinions of my assistants, we have decided so."
Mourinho believes that the fortnight off will be invaluable for his players, who he has accepted are unhappy with results and tired from a busy first half to the 2012-13 season.
"This [winter break] comes at an ideal moment. The players are sad and empty of energy," the Santiago Bernabeu boss added. "If we think of the point it is no motivation, but if we think of what Real Madrid means, then we have motivation.
"Losing always hurts, but especially when you don’t give 100 percent, but today we gave everything we had. As I said to the players afterwards: they can go with the sadness of losing, but they have the right to relax because they gave all they had tonight."
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