Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has said he is pleased with the clubs progress in spite of the revival being punctured by a draw at Villarreal.
The coach, in expressing his pleasure, emphasised the difficult situation he inherited when he took charge in October.
Real Madrid are seven points adrift of leaders FC Barcelona with 17 games played and are fourth in the standings as they prepare to host Real Sociedad on Sunday.
While that may not be good enough for a team that has won the last three UEFA Champions League titles, Solari said they had made big advances since October.
He succeeded Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked in October when Real Madrid were also seven points behind Barca.
“Our objective is to keep on climbing the table, but we know that we had a very difficult start. We have risen from ninth place to fourth,” Solari told a news conference on Saturday.
“We have to keep fighting and relish the challenge of taking on difficult situations, which is what we’ve been doing.
“We are happy with how we are doing and we have to keep on reducing the gap between us and the leaders.”
Solari has won five out of seven La Liga games since taking over from Lopetegui, who lost six of his 10 matches.
He also earned a first trophy as a coach by winning the FIFA Club World Cup in December.