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Girona can’t keep up with Real Madrid, says coach Michel

Girona coach Michel Sanchez insisted his team cannot keep up with La Liga leaders Real Madrid despite their stunning 4-3 win over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday to pull level in first place.

The Catalan minnows, promoted to the top flight in 2022, are tied with leaders Real Madrid at the half-way stage of the season, 10 points clear of third place Atletico Madrid and champions Barcelona.

However, the coach has insisted his team are not in the same bracket as Spain’s big three and maintained that line after the remarkable triumph at their Montilivi stadium.

“We cannot keep up with Madrid’s rhythm, we don’t want to put that label on ourselves (of challengers),” Michel told reporters.

“To talk about bigger things, like the Champions League, we have to get to the last 10 matches … then I’ll be ready to talk about our next objective.”

Michel said his team’s only goal at this point of the season was qualifying for European competition.

“(Winning the league) is not the objective, the objective is first to think game-by-game, and try to reach Europe, which would already be a success for us,” he added.

Girona, who have scored 46 goals, more than any other side in the top flight, are 13 points clear of fifth place Athletic Bilbao, giving them a strong chance of finishing in the top four.

Michel’s side thrashed Barcelona 4-2 in December, with the Spanish champions aiming to cut down the 10 point gap on Thursday when they visit Las Palmas.

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