DEL BOSQUE BACKS TEAM AFTER 4-0 THUMPING BY REAL MALLORCA

REAL Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque has been forced to defend his selection policy and players after Wednesday's humiliating 4-0 Copa del Rey quarter-final defeat by Real Mallorca. Del Bosque, who opted to rest all but four of his regular first team on Wednesday, also accepted responsibility for his side's 5-1 aggregate loss and brushed aside suggestions that Real, who have not won the Copa del Rey in 10 years, had made the competition a low priority. “At no point have we undervalued the Copa del Rey,” he said. “I thought we had a great chance to continue in this competition and I was convinced we had the ideal players to do it. “I've got no complaints at all about the attitude shown by the players either. “There's no point looking for scapegoats because we're all responsible, with me at the head. “I'm sorry for the club, for the team and for the players left back in Madrid because we didn't do what we were expected to.” Meanwhile, Mallorca midfielder Ariel Ibagaza, one of the stars of Wednesday night's match, is already looking forward to Sunday's match at champions Valencia. “Winning against Valencia is now the most important thing and we now have to use our momentum to win in the Mestalla, a hard place to pick up any points from.” Against Valencia Mallorca will be without veteran defender Miguel Angel Nadal who has been ruled out for at least two months due to ligament damage in his right knee.

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