Zinedine Zidane has insisted he isn't worried about Real Madrid's recent struggles, but confessed that his side must find consistency in their game if they are to make a serious challenge for La Liga this season.
Los Blancos slumped to a bitterly disappointing 1-0 defeat away at RCD Mallorca on Saturday, in turn relinquishing their place atop the league table and falling a point behind Barcelona.
Despite failing to dazzle so far this season, workmanlike performances from Madrid had seen them capitalise on other side's failings and lead La Liga heading into their most recent loss, which saw Lago Junior's seventh minute strike prove to be the winner - while Álvaro Odriozola was sent off late on for two yellow cards.
The gruelling nature of playing every three days appeared to be the area of concern for Zidane, who revealed that consistency has become Madrid's Achilles heel this season. Nevertheless, while admitting there are failings in his side, the Frenchman surprisingly insisted he isn't worried at the current state of affairs.
"The problem is that we have to show every three days that we're good," Zidane said after the game, as quoted by Marca. That's the difficulty, we don't do it. I won't say that I'm worried because I don't like the word, but if we want to win something this season, we need consistency."
Riddled with injuries throughout the squad - and without Eden Hazard on Saturday whose partner gave birth to a fourth child - the 47-year-old refused to use the absentees as reason for the loss. Instead, Zidane praised the Mallorca players and confessed it's down to the players he has available to step up.
"The injuries aren't an excuse," Zidane added. "There are players who aren't injured, we have more good payers too. When it comes to their turn, they have to show that they're at the level to be here. We can't do anything about the injured players.
"We can't be surprised by a team playing in their own stadium, we knew what would happen. They surprised us because they scored, but then they backed down and we didn't find a solution."