MADRID: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has offered a vote of confidence to coach Rafael Benitez in the wake of his side’s painful defeat to Barcelona on Saturday.

Perez was speaking at a press conference called 48 hours after Real Madrid had been humiliated 4-0 by their bitter rivals – a defeat which ended with a large number of the 80,000 crowd waving handkerchiefs in protest and calling for his resignation.

Indeed polls carried out in the Spanish press showed fans held him, rather than coach Rafa Benitez or the players to be responsible for the fiasco.

However, far from speaking about his own position, Perez switched attention to the former Liverpool and Valencia boss, who he appointed after sacking Carlo Ancelotti in June.

“He has all of our support and confidence, he was chosen for his experience and professionalism,” said Perez, who said he “understood,” the anger of the fans after Saturday’s defeat, “but I think it is the moment to carry on working,” he said.

“Rafael Benitez has to continue working at his job … he has qualified the side for the next stage of the Champions League and in the league we had performed well and been leaders until the last two games despite a long injury list,” said Perez.

“I ask for support and unity for our player’s,” he added, before making a plea that “we let them get on with their job.”