Vilanova: If Barcelona were 18 points behind, I'd be sacked

The coach suggested that if his side were trailing by as big a margin as the Liga holders then he would not expect to be in a job, and is expecting a tough game against Malaga

Tito Vilanova has piled the pressure on Jose Mourinho by suggesting that if Barcelona were 18 points behind Real Madrid, he would be sacked.

Mourinho has come in for criticism because of his side's poor form in their title defence and the decision to drop club icon Iker Casillas. While in the game against Real Sociedad, the former Chelsea manager's name received whistles from Los Blancos support when it was read out.

And Vilanova has continued to ramp up the pressure by insinuating that he would be gone if he was in that position. When asked if the title race was over Vilanova told reporters: "No, but if the situation was the other way round, I woudn't be here to answer that question.

"Madrid are capable of winning every game in the second half of the season and we are capable of losing those points.

"We are not talking about four games, there are a lot of games left. I know that things can change very quickly. As soon as you lose two games, you look worse as a coach."

Vilanova was speaking ahead of the Blaugrana’s Copa del Rey tie against Malaga which he does not think will be an easy match, whilst he also had kind words for former coach Pep Guardiola.

He added: “Malaga have already shown what they are capable of in the Champions League and La Liga. They are a team full of virtue and you can have a red card or go a goal down and everything is more difficult, because it is decided over the two legs."