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Zabaleta: Concentration must improve

TUSSLE: Pablo Zabaleta, Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton do battle

TUSSLE: Pablo Zabaleta, Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton do battle

Pablo Zabaleta has called for an improvement in Manchester City’s concentration after they lost 4-2 at Leicester on Saturday.

The Blues were 3-0 down inside 20 minutes and left with a mountain to climb against the champions, with the defeat leaving Pep Guardiola’s side fourth in the Premier League table.

Zabaleta refuted the suggestion City’s defeat was because of changes to the team’s system – and instead blamed a lack of focus from the players, who he believes were given all the information they needed on how to nullify Leicester’s attack before kick-off. 

“It’s not about the system,” he said. “We played with four at the back today, sometimes we play with three, and we know exactly what we have to do on the pitch.

“I think it is more about concentration. We know the risk we take every game because we are a very attacking team, and we want to attack all the time and create chances and win the games playing attacking football.

“But, of course, at the back when you give space you have to concentrate on the players that you can’t let run easily. You have to concentrate all the time.”

Zabaleta believes City are in transition and have plenty of time to improve and challenge for the title.

With Guardiola having only taken over this summer, Zabaleta feels it will take time for his ideas to be fully transmitted to the players.

“Of course, we can improve,” he said. “We are in December, we are working with a new manager, new ideas, and sometimes we know we take risks [by playing an attacking style].

“Against Chelsea we couldn’t manage to control those 20 minutes at the end and today we were not good enough the first 20, 25 minutes. The whole game you have to be so concentrated, for 95 minutes, to win the game.”

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