Aleksandar Kolarov: Man City need to win to put pressure on rivals
Manchester City must win their next three games to crank up the pressure on their title rivals, according to defender Aleksandar Kolarov.
City are in fourth place 10 points behind leaders Leicester City with a game in hand and Kolarov admits they are running out of time to close the gap at the top.
The Blues have not won three successive Premier League games since September but the Serbia international says they must win their next three if they are to claim their third title in five years. They face rock-bottom Aston Villa on Saturday, followed by Norwich City away and then Manchester United at the Etihad.
Kolarov was part of the City side that came from behind to win the Premier League in both 2012 and 2014 and he says it could be even harder to overhaul their rivals this time.
He said: "I think this year more than others you see the other results as well have been very difficult to predict. It's going to be difficult for us to win the title because at the moment we are 10 points behind but we are playing now against Aston Villa, Norwich away and then we have the derby so we have to win these three games. There's also Arsenal v Tottenham so I think there are going to be a lot of surprises before the end of the season.
"At the moment we are not in the best period of our performances so we just have to try and win the next game at home. It will be difficult because it isn't all in our hands so we have to look at other games as well but I think we have to try and start by winning on Saturday, make sure we win all our others games and then expect that all the other clubs drop points.
"We have experience under [Roberto] Mancini almost four years ago and then [Manuel] Pellegrini two years ago so I believe we can do it. We know it will be difficult but we have to believe."
City are currently in the final Champions League spot but after their midweek defeat to Liverpool, Manchester United are now on the same points while West Ham United are just a point behind.
Kolarov added: "United are now on the same points as us so we have to be careful about what is coming up on our backs as well.
"What we can do is be focused and firstly win the game on Saturday. Villa will come here to play and after our three defeats we have to win and I expect a very, very difficult game."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.