Skipper Vincent Kompany remained defiant after the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium.
City’s captain, who made his first appearance since Boxing Day in this 2-1 defeat, has insisted that Christian Eriksen’s late winner won’t affect his team’s mentality in the final few months of the season.
The Belgian said: “There is no way we are giving up. There is no way we will be beaten down by this defeat. It will be a tough end to the league for us but it will be tough for everyone else too.
“Today was not one of these where you say we didn’t look like a good team. They did well to win here but it’s not something that I’ll look at for the next game and say we need to change everything drastically.
“Obviously we’re not happy about the defeat but we didn’t play a bad game today. It wasn’t a case of underperforming. Of course, maybe if we play a little bit better we can win this game but the game plan was fine until the penalty.”
The crucial moment came in the second half when Raheem Sterling was judged to have handled the ball inside his own box. Referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the penalty which Harry Kane converted to give Spurs the lead but Kompany refused to be drawn in to the controversy.
He said: “If I’m honest I didn’t really have a position to judge it. I hear of what people are saying and I’ve seen the images but we need to move on from this now. The only way we’re going to be successful this season is if we learn from these moments and take strength out of it.”
However, the centre back was keen to praise the City fans for the galvanising effect of their support.
“Our fans have been brilliant today. They never stopped backing us throughout the game and I think they didn’t look too disappointed with the performance. The result went against us but I think they can accept that we gave everything,” he said.
Despite the loss Kompany was delighted to be back as he completed 90 minutes of Premier League football for the first time since 8 November 2015.
“I’ve worked really hard and I feel as good as I’ve ever been. I was, just as much as the fans, hoping for a successful return. The positive for me is that I came through the game and apart from feeling tired in the last five minutes I felt like an 18 year old on the pitch again.”