Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane defended by Hierro

Reports in Spain claim that Joachim Low has already been lined-up to replace Zidane

Real drew 2-2 with Numancia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie, advancing to the quarter-finals having won the first leg 3-0.

Real have already dropped nineteen points so far this season, only two fewer than they dropped in the entirety of the last campaign. But on both occasions, their modest visitors fought back thanks to a brace from Guillermo on the stroke of half-time and then after 82 minutes.

The minnows had Dani Calvo sent off late on for two bookings.

Zidane's unwillingness to shake things up can be traced to Real's limited activities in the last transfer window.

Moroccan global Nabil El Zhar scored the crucial away goal for mid-table Leganes on the half-hour mark.

On that occasion Real battered Sevilla 5-0 at the Bernabeu.

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Zinedine Zidane has defended Real Madrid's form but admits his contract offers no guarantees for his long-term future at the club.

"It's signed", said the French star after his side drew 2-2 with Numancia.

"It is impossible to win everything each year, and I have to admit that things look very hard in La Liga", he added. "I can not look two or three years ahead because having the contract does not mean anything".

"I've seen a change in the team since our chat". Barcelona and Celta Vigo, who drew 1-1 in the first game, meet at the Nou Camp on Thursday (20:30 GMT).

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde insisted that despite the high-profile capture of Philippe Coutinho, who can't play for around three weeks due to a thigh injury, his team's character will not change with the Brazilian's arrival.

Zidane said he accepted some Madrid supporters might think it odd their club are not moving in the market this month, but the issue was it was hard to find an available player who would actually make a difference. But at the same time, Barca will continue to nurture young players at the training centre to maintain the style and identity.

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