Julen Lopetegui and Sergio Ramos both refused to credit a comeback draw at Athletic Bilbao as a good result for Real Madrid.
Lopetegui’s side dropped points for the first time this season after Isco’s header cancelled out Iker Muniain’s scrambled opener at San Mames on Saturday.
Earlier in the day Barcelona had also been forced to come from behind, but a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad means the champions have a two-point lead at the top.
And Lopetegui, who missed the chance to become the first Madrid coach to win his first four league games since Manuel Pellegrini in 2009-10, could not be happy with his side’s draw.
“It’s a very difficult place to come,” Lopetegui said to Movistar Partidazo.
“Athletic are a team that comes to look for you, that presser you. In the second half we improved.
“Madrid never consider a draw to be good, we performed in the second half and we have to keep working.”
Ramos echoed the comments from Madrid’s head coach, accepting his side found it tough against a well-drilled Athletic outfit.
“We must always give the maximum for this club,” Ramos told Movistar. “We do not consider the draw as good, it is never good when you draw. There is a lot to improve.
“We knew it is one of the most difficult stadiums away from home, people push, but regardless of that, Athletic are a team that knows very well what they play.
“It is difficult to reach them and generate chances, then in the second half we overcame the pressure and got a result.”