Ancelotti banks on Real improvement for Shakhtar game

Real lost its previous two games before the international break, 2-1 at Espanyol in La Liga and a home defeat by the same scoreline against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.

Carlo Ancelotti

FILE PHOTO: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.   -  Reuters

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has called for his team to improve on recent performances as it prepares for Tuesday's Champions League group game at Shakhtar Donetsk but said it was not the most important part of the season.

Real Madrid lost its previous two games before the international break, 2-1 at Espanyol in La Liga and a home defeat by the same scoreline against Moldovan underdogs Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.

"We have an important game and we're motivated. We've lost the past couple of games and lost our sense of order, but we've worked on our errors," Ancelotti told a news conference on Monday.

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"I think at this point of the season, few teams are at their very top level. Having breaks in September, October and November doesn't help.

"But this isn't the most important part of the season. That comes later, when the finals come and this tends to be in May."

Defenders Ferland Mendy and Marcelo are back in the squad, Ancelotti added, while forward Eden Hazard will not be involved against Shakhtar due to a "minor issue".

Real Madrid is second in Group D with three points from two games, three behind leader Sheriff, while Inter Milan is third with one point ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk on goal difference.

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