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Real Madrid's Iker Casillas has spoken of his pride at the club's improved defensive record this season...

Real Madrid's Iker Casillas has spoken of his pleasure in playing a big role in helping the club strengthen their defence this season.

Madrid have conceded 22 goals in 30 La Liga games so far this season, leaving los Blancos with the second best defence in the league, behind leaders Barcelona.

The stats are a stark contrast to last season's defensive performances, where the capital club conceded 35 goals in total.

"One of our goals was to improve the defensive aspect of our game and I believe we have done that. This team is new and very young. It feels it is the first year together for us and its been very successful defensively. We will get better with experience and hopefully our defensive record will improve even further," the goalkeeper told Bwin.

The club will be hoping to bounce back from last week's shock 1-0 home defeat to Sporting with an away victory against Athletic Bilbao this evening.

Casillas is fully aware of the threat the Basque club possess and picked out striker Fernando Llorente as a potential dangerman.

"We all know the power in Athletic's passing game but defensively the team is very good.

"Llorente is dangerous in the area and to defend against him in the air is very hard, you must be very alert. He is so tall that the advantage of being able to use my hands to claim the ball is not always enough."

Los Blancos will be hoping to keep up the pressure on leaders Barcelona ahead of the two sides' meeting on April 16.

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