Real ready for tough challenge

Karanka knows it will hard to enjoy successful season

Aitor Karanka: Urging players to keep working hard to ensure success

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Assistant coach Aitor Karanka admits Real Madrid must find their best form immediately as they prepare for a difficult season ahead.

Real ended Barcelona's recent dominance last term by winning the Primera Liga title but the challenge now is to defend their crown.

The UEFA Champions League also promises to be keenly contested as coach Jose Mourinho seeks to win the competition with a third different club, following his successes with Inter Milan in 2010 and Porto in 2004.

His second-in-command Karanka told reporters in Spain: "We have to find our best form because we face a big challenge and it's going to be really tough from day one.

"We're going to need all the players' talent and commitment if we are to succeed."

Limit

Real could not have asked for a better build-up to the current campaign, scoring 14 goals and conceding just once in their four-match tour of America.

"The players have finished the pre-season well and have all shown signs of being able to push themselves to the limit. The team has also performed well as a group, even in attack," Karanka added.

"Each game has been fiercely competitive and with the quality of the players in the team things are turning out really well.

"We have to keep up the high work ethic and maintain a positive attitude towards earning a place in the line-up."