Manchester City fell 10 points behind leaders Chelsea after their 1-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday but manager Pep Guardiola believes there is plenty of time left to revive their Premier League campaign.
Chelsea have won 13 games in a row to surge to the top of the table while City have struggled for consistency in recent weeks.
“We are only entering the second half of the season and there is still more than five months to go so it’s a bit early to be worrying too much,” the Spaniard told reporters. “It’s not even January yet so there is a lot of time left.
“All we must do is concentrate on the next game which is Burnley (on Monday), try to win that and then look to win two or three games in a row and carry on from there.
“We have to show strong personality, keep fighting and do what we have to do to win the games.”
City conceded a goal in the eighth minute and despite some pressure after the interval were unable to trouble Liverpool’s defence.
But the former Barcelona and Bayern coach said he felt the game had been “equal” with both sides struggling to create clear-cut opportunities.
“We started well but the first chance that arrived for Liverpool they scored from, so it was always difficult after that,” he said.
“We tried to set the pace and the tone for the game. We controlled their counter-attacks, but didn’t create too much in the first half and in the second half it was a little bit better.
“There weren’t many clear chances for either side and I thought we dealt with the threat of (Sadio) Mane, (Adam) Lallana and (Roberto) Firmino quite well.
“We made more opportunities after the break but in games like this it is the little details that make the difference,” he said.
Guardiola was in no mood to criticise his team.
“I’m not the type of manager to come in and try and say we lost because of this or that. We reacted well after they scored and I didn’t see any of my players not show their personality,” he said.
“But Liverpool are one of the best teams, we were at Anfield and we knew this would be difficult.
“Things could be better but I like working with these guys because they give me everything when they play and train and so the next game, we’ll try again.”