Jose Mourinho feels Real Madrid are on the right track again after their difficult start to the 2012-13 campaign.
The reigning Liga champions beat Mallorca 5-0 at the weekend to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five games, and Mourinho remains positive that his side can get back in the title race as the season still has a long way to go.
"We’re going in the right direction. Last season we had a 10-point advantage over the second-placed team in March, and we felt that the league was still up for grabs," Mourinho stated at a press conference.
"Now it is October and there's not even a 10-point difference. We have eight points to make up. You have to try to keep closing the gap on the direct competition.
"I think we're doing really well even though we lost in the last Champions League match.
"We have been winning matches since the game in Seville, although we are still not playing as great as we did for virtually the whole of last season."
The Portuguese also responded to criticism of his choice to deploy Michael Essien at left-back following injuries to Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa.
“Essien plays where I want, and he doesn’t mind,” said the Los Blancos coach. “He’s shown the same attitude and mentality as when he decided to come to Real Madrid and play, while making less money than at Chelsea. I don't give any credit to what the media say.”
Madrid currently sit fourth in the league table with 17 points from nine games.