As his side fell to yet another defeat, Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui was forced to pick up the pieces and admitted that he takes ownership of their poor run.
It is the worst start to a season for a Real coach under the presidency of Florentino Perez, with the side falling to another defeat against Alaves due to an injury time goal for Manu Garcia.
“Naturally, we are disappointed because we wanted to win and we started quite well, creating chances and playing well,” Lopetegui said after the match.
“But the fact is we didn’t score and were punished for it.
“It was a harsh punishment, but they took advantage of their chance.
“We can’t be negative and must be calm because we know it is a difficult moment.
“I’m the first to be responsible as the coach.
“This team has been working like beasts for three months and it is logical that the fans are disappointed, but we need perspective because it is only October and we are just three points off the lead so we’ll recover as quickly as possible.”
Lopetegui acknowledged that injuries have perhaps played a part in the slump.
“We need to get players back because we’ve had many misfortunes,” he said.
“Today, we had two more players injured and need freshness and to get them back.
“We must return to winning ways as soon as possible.
“Things haven’t changed because of injuries, although the ones to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale did hurt us a lot.
“The international break will be good for us.”
When it came to fielding a question on whether he expected more from his squad, the ex-Spain coach was unsurprisingly diplomatic.
“A coach always expects and I have no doubt that the players always try to give their best,” he added.
“Against Alaves, they came out with a good attitude and played well in the first half.
“I think it is possible that recent games have weighed heavily on the mentality on the players.”
Real Madrid now have a two-week break, as a result of the international fixtures next weekend.