Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has appealed for calm in the wake of Tuesday night's ''humiliating'' 4-0 Copa del Rey defeat to Segunda Division B side Alcorcon, insisting that new coach Manuel Pellegrini and his side need time to gel.
Madrid, and especially Pellegrini, have come under intense criticism in the Spanish media following the cup loss to the third tier minnows, which will go down as one of the biggest embarrassments in the club's illustrious history.
The defeat was stuttering Madrid's third loss in their past five competitive games and means Madrid now face a huge task if they are to overcome that deficit against neighbours Alcorcon in the second leg at the Bernabeu and make it through to the last 16.
The current storm Madrid find themselves embroiled in is not what Perez would have wanted or expected after the club splashed out around €250 million on new signings this summer, but the president insists the new-look side need time to settle.
''There has to be calm and patience, even though the defeat in Alcorcon was humiliating. The history of Real Madrid is more than one game, which shouldn't be exaggerated or create unrest,'' said Perez.
''Of course it's not nice for a president to see his team like that (against Alcorcon), but we are Real Madrid. The same as knowing how to win, we have to know how to lose and recognise that yesterday Alcorcon were better than Real Madrid. We need to congratulate the opposing players and try to turn the tie around.''
Perez's comments will be welcomed by coach Pellegrini, who has been facing questions about his future even though he only took charge of Madrid this summer and guided the club to seven successive wins at the start of the season before their current blip in form.
''We've only had two months of competition,'' he told AS. ''The coach is new, he has a different system to last year and there are many new players.
''You have to give the team time to fit together and I'm sure the results will arrive. Also, we haven't been helped by injuries, we've had 15 in a few months.''