Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has stated that his side criticising referees could actually be more detrimental to their plight than good.
The 31-year-old's comments came following Los Blancos' last minute defeat to underdogs Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in a fixture where Cristiano Ronaldo's return to La LIga action was overshadowed by Antonio Sanabria's 94th minute winner.
Even though the Spaniard was less than pleased with the officiating throughout the defeat, the defender was reluctant to speak out following another disappointing result at home.
"The more we talk about the referees the worse it gets", Ramos told Spanish news outlet Marca. "We need to respect the officials and hope they try to perform the best way possible. I am not surprised that they don't award penalties for us, but that they do for Barcelona."
Despite stating that the other half of the El Clasico seem to reap benefits more so from the men-in-the-middle, the Seville-born centre-back knows that it is down to himself and his teammates to make sure they are not found in a situation where a questionable refereeing decision could cost them dearly.
"However, if we'd scored three goals then we wouldn't be upset about it", Ramos added. "We have had a frustrating start [to the season], one which is worrying.We've played against opponents who normally leave the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with another kind of result, but now we need to move on, self-evaluate and think about the upcoming fixtures.
"We are the same players who were winning titles a month and a half ago. We need to be united and think about ourselves, as we have a great squad and there can be no excuses."
Following Wednesday night's shock result, in which only added further woe onto Real Madrid's winless start at home in La Liga, Los Blancos now find themselves seven points adrift of title rivals Barcelona, a difference the 145-times capped Spain international said was still not too daunting.
"Being seven points behind Barcelona is not too large a gap", Ramos concluded.
"On other occasions we have come back from even larger gaps."
Madrid will be hopeful they can continue their good away record and attempt to cull the their indifferent start to the 2017/18 campaign when they travel to Alaves at the weekend, a side which Barca overcame 2-0 at the back end of last month.