Football: Copa del Rey exit a chance for Real to focus on La Liga title race, says Ancelotti

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to turn the disappointment of their Copa del Rey elimination at the hands of Atletico Madrid in midweek into an advantage in the La Liga title quest.

While Atletico will now face Barcelona in a two-leg quarter-final over the next two weeks, Real will be able to concentrate solely on league matters until they return to Champions League duty away to German side Schalke 04 on Feb 18.

Real lead Barcelona by a point at the top of the table and have a game in hand on the Catalans.

"The conclusion was that, in the two games, we had little control of the game. We played well but committed errors that prevented us from going through," Ancelotti said on Saturday.

"We have a month now to concentrate on La Liga and, if possible, gain points on our rivals."

Real Madrid had ended 2014 on a club-record 22-game winning streak as they won their fourth trophy of the year at the Club World Cup in December.

However, the European champions have not been able to replicate that form so far in 2015 as Thursday's 2-2 draw against Atletico means they have now won just one of four games so far this year.

Ancelotti, though, insists that his side's drop-off in form is not due to tiredness.

"The squad isn't short. Toni Kroos and Cristiano (Ronaldo) have played more than others because they are very important.

"I don't think they need to rest at the moment but when they do, I will rest them."

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