Sevilla coach Michel has called on his players not to succumb to negativity after they fell to a disappointing 1-2 defeat at home by Real Valladolid on Monday evening.
Newly promoted Valladolid raced into a 2-0 lead with early strikes from Patrick Ebert and Oscar, and although a Manucho own goal brought Sevilla back into the game at the beginning of the second half, a red card for combustible midfielder Gary Medel hurt their chances of a comeback and Miroslav Djukic's well drilled visitors held on for a surprise three points.
The result means that Sevilla's 5-1 derby win over Real Betis two weeks ago is their only win in six Primera Division games, and the Rojiblancos now sit 11th in the table, around where they were when Michel took the job last February after predecessor Marcelino Garcia Toral had been sacked.
"I have no remedy except to be positive as there is a long way to go in La Liga," Michel told reporters after the game. "This result was not in our plans. We must be realistic and know where we are. It is a tough defeat to take, we did not expect it."
The final whistle brought jeers for Sevilla's players and coach from fans inside the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, leading the former Getafe boss to challenge his squad to turn things around - starting next Friday at bottom club Espanyol.
"We have two options now - to lift ourselves physically and mentally, or to think things will continue like this," he said. "We need to work and not look at the standings. If we start to shake and be negative, our preparation for Friday's game will begin badly."