MONACO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Monaco, suddenly reeling after back-to-back defeats, must toughen up if they are to live with their robust opponents in France's Ligue 1, says coach Claudio Ranieri.
Monaco splashed out more than 150 million euros ($202.12 million) on transfers during the close season, but their squad still lacks players accustomed to the French top flight's physical challenge.
"What we need to correct is our mentality," Ranieri told a news conference on Tuesday, ahead of Friday's home clash with Evian Thonon Gaillard.
Monaco dropped to third place after losing 2-0 at Lille last weekend, a reverse that came four days after they conceded their first defeat of the season in a League Cup match at Stade Reims.
"Our opponents have been more aggressive. We will have to be more aggressive," said Ranieri.
"This happened because many of our players are just discovering Ligue 1, and they need time to adjust to the way they can respond (to the league's physical nature).
"(Joao) Moutinho, for instance, has been suffering against aggressive opponents. He needs to adjust and understand how we play in France."
Promoted Monaco, backed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, have 25 points from 12 games. They trail leaders Paris St Germain by three points and second-placed Lille by two.
($1 = 0.7421 euros) (Reporting by Etienne Ballerini; Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ossian Shine)