Willy Caballero says Manchester City are determined to step up their bid to secure Champions League football next season, starting with Saturday’s crucial Premier League home fixture with Hull.
Despite playing some excellent football of late, Pep Guardiola’s side have gone four games without a win in the league and Wednesday’s narrow 2-1 loss at league leaders Chelsea left City in fourth place in the table, two points behind third-placed Liverpool but with a game in hand.
With eight matches of the season still to go, City remain in pole position to secure a top four place and, with it, qualification for next season’s Champions League.
But with every result now crucial and fifth and sixth-placed Arsenal and Manchester United also snapping at City’s heels, Caballero says it is crucial he and his team-mates brush off the disappointment of the Stamford Bridge result and quickly return to winning ways, starting against Hull.
“We were really sad in the dressing room after the Chelsea match – not just for this game but for the past three or four games,” said the Argentine goalkeeper.
“We couldn’t win despite playing well and creating a lot of chances.
“My teammates played really well again on Wednesday - they were fantastic and it’s a shame we couldn’t give a victory for our fans because they are always there.
“But now we need to think and focus on the next game.
“We have to think that it (the top four) is going to happen but we have to do our homework.
“Now we have to focus on the game against Hull.
“It is at home in front of our supporters and we need to win the game as we need a victory as soon as possible.”
Wednesday’s result followed a frustrating pattern this season that has seen City dominate matches but fail to make their superiority tell.
And Caballero says the lesson is clear that City must show a more ruthless streak when opportunities present themselves and become more watertight when the opposition attack.
“I think the Chelsea game was another similar game to ones we have played throughout the season,” the 35-year-old added.
“We played very well, we created chances and we dominated the game but, unfortunately, we couldn’t be solid in the box.
“We couldn’t score more goals than the opponent and we couldn’t create the chances in the same way Chelsea did.”