Cristiano Ronaldo has conceded that Real Madrid miss the presence of Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal following back-to-back defeats.
Los Blancos' season is at risk of spiralling out of control after their slow start in La Liga continued last weekend with a shock 2-1 loss at newly-promoted Girona.
To make matters worse for Madrid, their unbeaten record in the group stage of the Champions League - stretching back a full five years - evaporated in midweek when going down 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in a dismal team display.
Superstar forward Ronaldo believes that the key to getting back on track is the return to full fitness of Bale, who has been absent for more than a month since pulling up against Borussia Dortmund, as well as Spanish full-back Carvajal.
"We also need Carvajal and Bale back. It is not a worse squad but it has less experience and that is very important. It's not an excuse, I'm happy and the alarms are not going off."
Bale has an outside chance of featuring in Sunday's league meeting with Las Palmas, while Carvajal is unlikely to make a comeback until December after being diagnosed with a heart problem last month.