Sloppy Manchester City will stand united and accept criticism as a team, insists Joleon Lescott

By Dean Wilkins

Joleon Lescott is adamant Manchester City will stand united in accepting criticism for Wednesday’s loss to Ajax in the Champions League.

Samir Nasri gave the Blues the lead midway through the first-half but the Dutch champions punished Roberto Mancini’s side for slack defending and earned their first three points of the group with a 3-1 win.

City’s form in the league has settled them into third place, but they sit rock bottom of their European group after going into the season with great expectations after last year’s flop.

And after dominating opposition game after game 12 months ago, Lescott accepts that they are rightly under fire for sloppy performances this season.

“Last season we were scoring at will and not conceding many goals and we got a lot of plaudits rightly so,” he said. “But we are in for criticism now because we are conceding more goals.

“As a team we are not overly enthusiastic with the way things are going but we are getting there.

“It is a slow start for us this season but we are still in the top three of the Premier League and we are still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.”

City are six points behind group leaders Borussia Dortmund with just three games to go and have taken just one draw in three games.

Mancini admitted that his Blues would need ‘a miracle’ to progress in the Champions League as their attacking foursome continue to fluff their lines in front of goal.

“On paper it looks great, but paper doesn’t win games,” Lescott added. “We need to put it in. We win and lose together.

“Obviously the opposition is of a great standard, so we know there are no easy games, but we go into each game confident we can achieve something and play our way. But they made it hard for us.

“Obviously it was disappointing, the result.

Ajax goalscorers Siem de Jong, Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen will be different opposition than City will find when they host Swansea on Saturday.

And the 30-year-old England centreback is confident that his side can bounce back from defeat with a landslide win.

“Of course, Swansea is going to be a totally different game,” Lescott added.

“We are confident we can dictate that game and create a lot more chances.”

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