Daniel Carvajal says the players are pleased to top La Liga at the moment but know there is plenty of hard work still to come.
Los Blancos overtook Barcelona in the table after the Catalans were thrashed by Celta Vigo while Real beat Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
Karim Benzema scored a goal in each half to secure the three points while the team also showed plenty of character and fight to prevent the hosts netting an equaliser.
Talking to journalists after the match, right back Carvajal said the players were proud of where they are.
“It’s always good to be top of the table, but we have to carry on and keep on winning games to be champions come May. We knew about Barcelona’s half-time score and that it was a golden opportunity to take top spot. It’s an added source of motivation to get out there and play,” the 23-year-old commented.
He went on to discuss his own form and how important this season is for him with one eye on getting into the Spain squad for next summer’s European Championships.
“I try to repay the coach’s confidence in me by playing well. I hope that Danilo recovers soon and that when he’s back we make it hard for Benítez, and that it’s the team that benefits the most. For me, this year is the most important and the year with the most challenges in my career, with stiff competition at club and international level, and with the Euros in the summer. It’s a year to stand up and be counted,” he stated.