Luka Modric says it is not realistic to expect Real Madrid to run riot every week after he netted the winner in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Granada on Sunday.
The Santiago Bernabeu side had netted an impressive 17 goals in their first four matches under new coach Zinedine Zidane, but they needed a late stunner from Modric to earn all three points at Los Carmenes.
The Croatia international still saw plenty of reason for optimism despite Madrid's difficulty securing the win.
"You can't expect to score lots of goals in every game, football isn't like that," he told the club's official website.
"We showed character and we created a lot of clear chances but we didn't score and that's the difference. Two goals away from home is very good.
"We had ups and downs, we suffered as a team and in the end we won, that was really important.
"We can still improve a lot defensively as well as in attack, but physically we're stronger and I'm sure we are going to play better in the coming games."
Modric has been in impressive form since Zidane replaced Rafael Benitez as head coach, but the former Tottenham midfielder refused to put his fine performances down to the change in leadership.
"I don't know if I'm in the best form of my career but in every game I give my best. I feel very good and physically I feel much better than at the beginning of the season.
"That leads to things like Sunday. I'm not referring at all to the coach, it's just a feeling I have.
"I'm sure it was one of my best goals and it proved decisive. I'm very happy to have scored the goal. The coach said before the game that I have to shoot more and in the end I scored that goal."
Madrid's next match is at home to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday.