Sergio Ramos accepts Real Madrid were thinking about Wednesday's Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain during a 5-2 defeat of Real Sociedad.
Madrid raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time in Saturday's La Liga game at the Santiago Bernabeu, Lucas Vazquez giving Zinedine Zidane's men the lead in the first minute.
But sloppy defending allowed Jon Bautista and Asier Illarramendi to score late consolations for the visitors, although Cristiano Ronaldo completed the scoring by wrapping up a perfect hat-trick.
Zidane rested Casemiro and Gareth Bale, the Frenchman bringing off Luka Modric for the last half-hour, and Ramos acknowledged the clear drop in intensity in Madrid's second-half display.
"Today from the first minute the team has gone out to play football, to have the ball, to press the opponent, to steal high, and a big difference has been noticed," Ramos said. "Then in the face of goal we have been more successful.
"I would lie to you if I did not tell you that we were thinking about PSG. We could have continued but we cannot stand at that pace for 90 minutes either. The objective was to gain confidence and we have achieved it today.
"This is what any team wants, football is based on intensity and attitude. To leave the field empty, sometimes you cannot, but that is the intention."
While Madrid boosted confidence levels after recent poor form with a commanding performance, Karim Benzema failed again to get on the scoresheet, the striker hitting the post with an early effort.
And after Benzema missed a fantastic late chance to score what would have been only his third La Liga goal of the season, Madrid fans whistled the under-fire Frenchman.
"We have never been anyone without the fans," Ramos added. "We need the fans more than ever before the PSG game.
"Let's leave the whistles aside."
Former Madrid midfielder Illarramendi got his name on the scoresheet but accepted Sociedad faced a tough task after Vazquez opened the scoring 49 seconds into the match.
"The first half has been a disaster," Illarramendi said. "In the second half we were better, but to come back in a stadium like the Bernabeu is impossible. From the first minute the game has been uphill.
"We wanted to hold until the 20th minute without conceding any goals, but it could not be. We almost always try to play from behind, but today we have been a disaster."