Silva admits City need to be 'almost perfect'
Bernardo Silva believes that Manchester City are facing the toughest period in their recent history after admitting that the team's confidence has been shaken by the sudden loss of three Premier League matches.
From starting December unbeaten at the top of the table and on course to accumulate more points even than their record-breaking 100 last season, shock defeats against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester City have seen them drop to third.
They are also now seven points behind new Premier League title favourites Liverpool ahead of a pivotal match between the two clubs next Thursday in which City hope to again have the hugely influential Fernandinho fit following his recent thigh injury.
Asked if this was the toughest time in City's recent history, Silva said: "Yes, we cannot deny it. We were two points ahead of Liverpool and now we are seven behind.
"Seven points to Liverpool is starting to be a lot. We are not playing as well as we want at this part of the season. We have to find an explanation. We have lost two games that we shouldn't do if we are in a race for the title.
"It's mathematically possible but we have to be almost perfect from now. It's difficult. We have to start winning games again otherwise things will get complicated.
"It's all about character for the players now. Since I've been here, this team has always reacted well to bad situations.
"When we lost, we would win the next game but now, to lose two games in a row, is not easy. We will come back from this. We have to show heart and improve.
"We're upset - that's normal. It's not the end of the world, we have to sort out what mistakes we have made and try to improve. We need to start winning again as fast as we can, starting with Southampton." (© Daily Telegraph, London)