Carlo Ancelotti said that something big must change with players' attitude and concentration at the club after Real Madrid's shock 4-2 La Liga defeat at Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. However, he refused to comment on whether the club would buy again before the transfer window shuts on Monday night.
Madrid looked comfortable as they roared into an early 2-0 lead through Sergio Ramos' header and Gareth Bale's solo effort, but took the foot off the pedal and La Real came flying back to make it 2-2 by halftime through Inigo Martinez and David Zurutuza, and then ran out deserved winners after further goals from Zurutuza again and substitute Carlos Vela.
Widespread speculation has Madrid signing at least one player before the transfer window shuts on Monday night, with yet another attacker in Manchester United's Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez reportedly lined up.
The Blancos manager told his post-game news conference that it was not necessarily new players that he needed, but for those already there to concentrate better.
"This defeat does not change anything," Ancelotti said. "What needs to change is our attitude and concentration in these type of games. At 2-0 you must show concentration to see out the game. Something has to change, and it will change."
The Italian admitted that losing control of the game had been painful for him to watch from the bench.
"It is not easy to evaluate this game as there were two," he said. "The first half hour was very good, with good concentration. The other hour was very bad. We thought the game was over. We are hurting a lot, I am hurting a lot, as I do not like the team to play like that in the final hour. The biggest problem was that we did not put in place a good defensive system to control the two goal advantage. The game changed a lot, we defended badly, missing balance above all."
Two players who brought that balance to the team last season were Xabi Alonso, who last week was sold to Bayern Munich for 10 million euros, and Angel Di Maria, who has joined Manchester United for about 75 million euros. The Italian denied that missing players was the problem, saying it was more a question of attitude and organisation.
"This is not a problem of missing one player, it is about the team losing things after going 2-0 up," Ancelotti said. "It was not about Xabi Alonso being there or not. It is a more general thing. When the team does not have a good attitude it is difficult to change that with just one player."
New galacticos James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, who had both been powerless to affect the shifting momentum of the game, were not the ones to blame, Ancelotti said.
"[James and Kroos] need time," he said. "They are adapting well. A game like this is more difficult for new players than for others."
Club captain Iker Casillas also did not mince his words as he criticised the "horrible" performance and said the team's attitude had just not been good enough.
"We congratulate Real Sociedad but cannot let a game slip in that manner," Casillas told Canal Plus, just after the final whistle. "Today the team has been negative in everything. It was horrible, we were not good. You cannot let that happen at 2-0."
Casillas will again face questions after all four of Real Sociedad's goals came from crosses into the box, and the understanding with his defenders looks an issue. But the 33-year-old said the whole team were to blame for what had happened, not just those at the back.
"We are all guilty, not just those at the back, defending corners is about the whole team," he said. "We must learn from the lessons of today. We are wearing the badge of a very important club and that is not the attitude nor the example we must give to the rest of the world. The media will talk about this, but we must just get into the dressing-room and sort it out as what has happened today is not normal."