MADRID, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho refused to take back the stinging criticism he had launched at his side Monday following their 1-0 defeat to Sevilla on Saturday night.
Speaking after the defeat which left Real Madrid eight points behind Barcelona in the race for La Liga title, Mourinho said that had he been able to he would have changed seven of his players at half time, adding the crushing comment: "At the moment, I don't have a team."
Tuesday sees Madrid kick off their Champions League campaign at home to Manchester City and although it is a vital game in what is a difficult qualifying group, Mourinho refused to soften his line.
"I have not spoken to the players about what I said in Sevilla, because I had already said it to them before. It is not the first time that my players have heard these words," he said in his pre- game press conference.
However, despite the tension after the poor start to the season and rumors of problems between players in the dressing room and with the coach, Mourinho insisted there were no problems in the dressing room atmosphere.
"It is impossible to have a better relationship with the squad, " said the Madrid coach. Some may look at his words beleiving the coach means he has an excellent relationship with his players, while others may think it means he is unable to improve it, which is quite a different thing altogether.
"The person who is responsible for this awful start to the season is me. I have not been able to create a group with a strong compromise, I have not been able to make football the priority in the life of my players. Now I am obliged to try and make the team appear more like the team from last season and from two years ago, " he added.
Mourinho said that Saturday's defeat would not lead to wholesale changes in the side.
"I am not going to make seen changes. It will not be a very different lineup. I didn't aim to point out one player who could not be in good conditions and I don't want any player who may lose his place to appear to be signaled out," he commented, adding that he had no intention of leaving the club as he was already planning for the 2013-14 pre-season.