Positive headlines have been hard to come by for the Barclays Premier League champions in 2015.
Since the turn of the year, City have been unable to build up the required momentum to put leaders Chelsea under serious pressure with the gap at the top standing at six points going into the next round of fixtures.
Gael Clichy believes that the criticism the team has faced in recent times has been warranted but is eyeing a turning point, starting at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime where in-form West Brom provide the opposition.
“We are talking about a Club that is progressing every day, every week, every month, every year,” he said.
“The owners expect a lot from a team like us – we won the Premier League and the Capital One Cup last year, you want to keep winning but you know when you are the champions, teams face you differently than they play against other teams.
“They want to win or get a result against the champions – we know it’s harder.
“If people are going to talk bad about you it’s better when it is probably deserved because you’re not getting the points you should get with the players you have.
“We want to show people we can react.
“It’s important not to talk too much because I can say today we’re going to try hard and get the three points and if we don’t turn up tomorrow, people will say it’s nice just to talk but we want you to perform.
“The quality is there, we just have to break the bad habit of the last few weeks and I’m sure we’re going to do it because the spirit is there too. We are together.”
Clichy missed Wednesday’s game at the Camp Nou through suspension.
The Frenchman, who has been one of the most consistent performers in the squad this season, is determined to give his best against the Baggies – not just for the points and to keep title hopes alive – but for the supporters.
“It would have been great to have beaten Barcelona because it’s a massive team, it may have been a turning point but it wasn’t to be and the next one is West Brom,” he declared.
“They are in great form, they have a new manager and great players, again you can’t think this is going to be the game to break the circle of bad results and if we go into the game thinking it will be, we may have a hard time. It’s the Premier League and when you relax it’s not happening.
“We want to win and to play well - not just for the result and for the points, but for the fans – we need to show them we want it as much as them.
“We do, but it’s just a bad result sometimes brings another one and the mood goes down.
“We have quality – we have amazing players who can change a game in one second but we know the Premier League is not like any other league - you need an extra gear.”
Is the title race over as so many are forecasting? Gael isn’t ready to throw in the towel.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are all in good form and ready to overtake City in second place if the champions continue to stutter but Clichy is only keen on looking up the league.
“We’ve come from behind before, we did it last year when it was really tight and we did it a few years ago with the old manager on the last day of the season,” he remembered.
“The gap is there, it’s big – we’re chasing a strong team who, even when they’re not playing well and winning, they’re not losing.
“We can’t think too far ahead and too much about the teams behind us even though we’re know they’re closer now.
“We have to stop dropping points – we just have to take it game after game, starting against West Brom.”