Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui faces the first of three games in a week which could well decide his future at the club when his side entertains Levante in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday.
After seeing their team suffer its worst scoring drought and lose for the fourth time in five matches, Real Madrid fans ran out of patience.
Marcelo finally ended Real's longest-ever goal drought, spanning 482 minutes, by thumping into the net but an equaliser proved elusive for Lopetegui's side, who are fifth in La Liga.
The former Spain coach's future was already being talked about following losses to CSKA Moscow and Alaves before the global break, while they are now winless in five.
"We are with [Lopetegui] to the death", said Marcelo, reaching for an unfortunate Spanish phrase often used on these occasions.
"He tells us things very clearly". It's unfair, as you were with [former boss Rafael] Benitez. The former Spain coach has been employing the midfielder in a deeper role and Kroos displayed his resentment upon having to do the dirty work while on worldwide duty and insisted that he is not Casemiro.
"If I am asked for an opinion, I give it, but I do not think that an opinion of mine could influence such an important decision as the coach's continuity".
The 1-0 defeat to Alaves on the eve of the global break led to widespread rumors that Lopetegui was on the verge of losing his job. "We're not afraid, but we're anxious". While Levante thoroughly deserved its 2-0 lead, courtesy of goals by Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti inside the first 13 minutes, and had chances to put the game away with a third, the home team put forth a furious second-half effort. Marcelo and Isco are both expected back against Levante while Gareth Bale has been training again this week, albeit on his own.
Lopez said, in a press conference reported by Marca: "What we want to do is make Madrid feel uncomfortable with the ball and then be an uncomfortable team ourselves". The ball is not going in. We came from some bad results and we could not slip up.
"Levante didn't do much. We have to change our dynamic and start winning". "We finished the game dead, because we left everything on the pitch".