Real Madrid attacker Isco has insisted that his side aren't weaker this season following their poor start to the 2017-18 campaign.
Zinedine Zidane's men were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night, which saw captain Sergio Ramos sent off and Cristiano Ronaldo struggle in front of goal.
However, the 25-year-old denies comments that the Spanish champions are not as competitive this campaign following the departures of Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez.
"It's taking advantage a bit, when the results aren't coming, to say that the squad is weaker," Isco said in a post-match interview.
"Our squad is just as competitive as last year, and we haven't had all of the squad available yet because of injuries and that's important."
The draw means that Isco and Co are now eight points adrift of league-leaders Barcelona and have now dropped to fourth in La Liga.
Madrid's Br azilian midfielder Casemiro believes that his side are in a rough patch at the moment but insists that they have to keep working.
"We had a chance to cut points and we played well. We had a lot of opportunities, but it's football, the ball didn't want to go in," Casemiro said.
"But when it does, it won't stop, so we have to keep working."