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The Spanish champions may have had a sluggish start to their title defence, but their former defender believes that the club still has the mentality needed to lift silverware

Fernando Hierro has insisted that while Real Madrid have not enjoyed the best of starts to the season, they possess the "winning gene" to bounce back from adversity.

The Blancos sit in seventh place after five Liga matches, eight points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, but have picked up form in recent weeks, following up a 3-2 win over Manchester City in the Champions League with a 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecano.

With the Clasico only a fortnight away, Hierro is aware that Jose Mourinho's men must improve dramatically if they are to sustain their improvement against Barcelona, but has no doubts about the side's ability to succeed.

"Undoubtedly, eight points will be a hard gap to close, but one thing's for sure - Real Madrid have a winning gene," claimed Hierro to EFE.

Real Madrid hope to continue their Liga revival when they face Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

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