Mikel Arteta is urging his players to rediscover their effectiveness in front of goal to get back to winning ways against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Three games have passed since we last tasted success in the Premier League, and the boss believes that we need to take the chances we carve out to win matches we deserve to take three points from.
That is the challenge he has laid down to our players ahead of the trip to Villa Park, whom he has tried to emphasise the positives to in the aftermath of Wednesday’s tussle between the division’s top two.
“You want to get maximum points and we didn't in the last three games,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “We have to look at ourselves. We have to be more efficient; with the amount of play and situations we have made, we haven't generated enough points and that's down to us. We have to improve that because we want to win more games.
“They were hugely disappointed not to get the result. But not that long ago, we were saying: ‘guys, we are so far - we still need to improve’ and now we are closer. But it wasn’t enough because they were much more efficient than us.”
City may have set the benchmark in the Premier League over the last few years, but having gone toe-to-toe with them twice over the past few weeks, Arteta is buoyed by those performances and feels as though it proves that we are on the right trajectory as we aim to bounce back and try to reclaim top spot - even if potentially briefly - on Saturday.
Reflecting on those games against Guardiola’s side, he added: “When it comes to a [match] like the other day against that team, who I know pretty well, and the players are able to produce what they produced, it gives me a lot of belief that we are going in the right direction.
“I've seen it with my eyes in two games, but the level of efficiency has to be extremely good every single time to beat them at the end.
“We've seen where the level is, we want to be at that level and we are on that journey together. There were a lot of positives to take from [the Man City] match.
‘That’s because they realised that on the pitch, and how they feel on the pitch when they are coming up against the best team that this league has had in decades - and how they performed against them. I sensed a lot of belief.”
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