Iker Casillas acknowledged that Real Madrid has hit "rock bottom" following his side’s Champions League defeat to Schalke on Tuesday completed a miserable 10 days for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
The Blancos lost 4-3 on the night but edged out the Germans 5-4 on aggregate, courtesy of a 2-0 win in the first leg in Gelsenkirchen. The loss means Madrid has now gone three games without a win in all competitions, after a draw and a defeat to La Liga rivals Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, respectively.
Casillas, who was arguably at fault for three of Schalke’s four goals, said: "It’s true we have hit rock bottom in a most resounding way. But the positive is that we will be in the draw next Friday. When that draw is made we will forget what has happened over the past 10 days — they have been dramatic.
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"We must think about tomorrow, we cannot look back, nor dwell on the 22 successive wins [earlier in the season] or anything else we have achieved."
Casillas did produce a late save on Benedikt Howedes that kept Madrid in the competition, but the Spain international admitted he did not perform well.
"I believe a goalkeeper is always to blame [after conceding four times]," he added. "This was not one of my best games, but it’s not the moment to think about myself."
Ancelotti is aware of the pressure he is under, but has vowed to end Real’s slump.
"I do not think about [being sacked]," he said. "I keep doing my work, trying to do it better. I need to do better. We must say it clear, we are playing very badly. It is pretty hard to understand, after what we did up to December. "
Real’s latest defeat was met with a chorus of jeers from the Bernabeu crowd. Ancelotti expressed sympathy with the home supporters, but maintained his confidence that his under-performing team will bounce back.
"The whistles from fans are totally deserved. This is going to motivate us more, for the next game," he added. "We suffered a lot until the final minute, right until the end. The game did not go as we wanted. Anything could have happened. We have had problems, in all aspects of the game, attack and defense, fight, concentration, motivation. It was pretty clear.
"It is not easy to explain, above all we have lost some confidence in our play, in our identity, above all that. I have full confidence in these players, in all of them. The key to fix this problem is the players themselves, the coach too."
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