Manchester City’s in-form full-back Pablo Zabaleta expects the Premier League champions to bounce back from embarrassing defeat to Southampton.
City fell victim to Mauricio Pochettino’s side 3-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday, leaving them 12 points off the title pace with 12 games left.
But Zabaleta – the club’s back-to-back player of the month – believes Roberto Mancini’s team will put an end to their torrid form.
“We will learn from this defeat and use the deflated feeling we had afterwards as an inspiration,” he told the club website.
“Sometimes after a game like Southampton you need a few days to think about what went wrong and why, and then come back stronger and I believe that’s what will happen.
“We need to stand together, battle and show what we are really capable of.”
A howler from goalkeeper Joe Hart and a Gareth Barry own goal consigned City to a humiliating defeat to the Premier League new boys.
Mancini was left fuming after the match and Zabaleta conceded it was one of his worst days in a City shirt.
“I think it was just one of those days when everything went wrong,” Zabaleta said.
“We must give full credit to Southampton who played really well and pressed us from the first minute to the last.
“We have to hold our hands up and admit they were better than us on the day.
“We will aim and get back to winning ways at the weekend in the FA Cup and that is our immediate focus now.”
City host Leeds United on Sunday in the FA Cup fifth round, before Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium the following weekend.
Picture courtesy of Roger Goraczniak, with thanks