Real Madrid star Toni Kroos has added to his teammate Marcelo's admission that the club are 'sinking' after a 1-0 defeat to Villarreal on Saturday, as they struggle to cling onto the fringes of the top four.
The weekend's results leave Los Blancos 19 points behind Barcelona with a single game in hand, and closer in points to the relegation zone than the top of the table - with third-placed Valencia eight points up the road.
The reigning Spanish champions' dreadful run of form has brought Zinedine Zidane's position at the club into question, and the reaction of his players after the match - Toni Kroos admitting that their goal for the rest of the season must be simply a Champions League place - will not help his case.
Speaking after the game, the German said: "We have to focus on qualifying for next season's Champions League. I think this should be our goal for the rest of the season.
"Sixteen points is very far behind and it's not the moment to think about anything that is not the next game and returning to winning points to bring us close to Real Madrid's objective, which is to finish in the top four."
Brazilian full-back Marcelo was even more frank in his analysis of the situation, calling it the 'worst' he had seen at the club and admitting that the players were in a very negative mindset.
He said: “It's one of the worst situations I've experienced here. We're trying to play good football, move the ball around and score goals, but it's not coming off. It's how it looks from the outside - we're sad, angry and we feel like we're sinking.”