MANCHESTER CITY return to action against West Brom tonight anxious to prevent their title challenge ending with a whimper.
City's hopes of winning a first league crown since 1968 appear in tatters after a sequence of damaging results in recent weeks.
Roberto Mancini's men have collected just five points from their past five games and now trail rivals Manchester United by eight points at the top of the Premier League -- a month after they held a two-point lead over their cross-city rivals.
With just six games remaining, time is against City, but midfielder James Milner is determined to fight until the end.
The England international said: "We just have to concentrate on ourselves.
"It is about learning as you go and taking the positives. It is important we step up now and finish the season strongly.
"We have not finished yet and will keep fighting until the end."
City appeared to suffer the decisive blow in the title race on Sunday as they were beaten 1-0 at Arsenal and United saw off QPR 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Milner said: "It was a big disappointment (on) Sunday, and we need to pick ourselves up.
"So it is good to be playing again so quickly. We need to make sure we are firing and ready to go again."
City at least have a formidable home record to fall back on as West Bromwich Albion visit the Etihad Stadium.
Sunderland are the only side to have left Eastlands with a point this season after their 3-3 draw 11 days ago.
Controversial striker Mario Balotelli will not be playing as he begins a three-match suspension for his sending off at Arsenal.
Influential midfielder Yaya Toure is also unlikely to feature due to a knee injury, but David Silva could return from his knee problem.
Failure to win the title would be crushing for City after leading the table for most of the season, but Mancini is also trying to keep his head up for the run-in.
The Italian said: "It is clear that we need to start to win. We lost and didn't put in a good performance (at Arsenal) and I'm disappointed about this.
"But I shall think about the next game that we play -- football is good for this.
"We can forget that game.
"We need to prepare for the next game and we need to win."