Real Madrid head coach Rafa Benitez deflected questions over his future after a 2-2 draw with his former club Valencia.

Benitez's side twice led at the Mestalla but were pegged back both times and also had Mateo Kovacic sent off in an eventful La Liga clash on Sunday.

Asked about his position, which has come under increasing scrutiny, Benitez tried to turn focus to the positive aspects of his side's performance.

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He told reporters: "You are free to ask that question, but it is looking at it the wrong way. For the effort we deserve more praise than anything else.

"I cannot prevent speculation about whether I continue, but I can make the team work as it has today. We were capable of getting the three points."

Benitez felt his side deserved credit for going ahead after Kovacic's dismissal, although Gareth Bale's 82nd-minute header was quickly canceled out by Paco Alcacer.

Real had also led in the first half through Karim Benzema but Daniel Parejo leveled from the penalty spot.

He said: "With 10 players we had to make an effort and the team has done. We can only regret that after going 2-1 ahead, we conceded in the next minute."

"Maybe we were lacking a bit of concentration after we went 2-1 up or maybe the opposition reacted very well."

The result means Real are third in the table, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and two behind second-placed Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

Real defender Sergio Ramos came out in support of Benitez after the draw, telling Movistar+: "He has credit in the bank. Whoever the coach is, we'll always get behind them."