A disappointed Pep Guardiola admitted City were far from their best after the surprise 2-1 loss to Newcastle.
The boss added that though this is a blow to the Blues’ title hopes, there are still four months to go before the end of the season and that it is vital his team keeps winning games and remain mentally strong.
“It was not our best night,” said Pep. “We didn’t make a good performance. We started with a goal, but the rhythm of the game was slow.
“We lost second balls, we were not aggressive enough, that’s why we could not win.
“Our game was slow, we didn’t commit. They shoot the first time and it’s a goal, the second was a penalty. But congratulations to Newcastle.
“It’s difficult. But we have to continue. In football many things can happen. The table is not important. We have to do what we have to do."
The City boss admitted scoring after 24 seconds perhaps wasn’t beneficial on this occasion, and also added he is unsure what happened with the disallowed Aguero effort later in the first half.
“Scoring so early sometimes helps, sometimes it’s not good,” he said. “It didn’t help us in the way we played. The reaction at 1-0 wasn’t good on this occasion.
“Two zero would be better. But maybe the ref said don’t take a free-kick until I give permission, so I don’t know. We have to improve in the next games.
“We had a chance today to reduce the gap knowing our opponent plays tomorrow.
“We have to try and win games. We want to be there, we could not do that tonight.
“The next week or so will be tough with Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea. I know the challenge is big. If we want to go up as a club we have to accept that challenge.
“We are in January and we are behind the leaders but there are a lot of titles and points to play for.
"We have many games left - we are not in April or May and a lot can happen. We need to be there in every game and not give up."