Pepe accused Real Madrid of lacking in “intensity and team spirit” during their 1-0 La Liga defeat to Villarreal on Sunday.
Los Blancos fell five points behind joint-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at El Madrigal, courtesy of Roberto Soldado’s early goal, and the defender did not mince his words when quizzed on his side’s performance after the game.
“In the first half, we weren’t plugged in and lacked both intensity and team spirit,” he said.
“We must talk to one another. We had good games [before Villarreal] and failed to bridge the gap [against Villareal], but we’re still in the mix.
“We lacked understanding of the game in the first half but had many chances to score in the second.
“You have to give credit to Villarreal as you have to match the intensity of your opponents and more so away from home in order to win games.
“[On falling five points behind], it’s difficult. We can only play our game and that’s what we’ll try to do.”