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Oct 26, 2012

Lescott accepts City criticism

Joleon Lescott has said he and his Manchester City team-mates have not been content with their start to the 2012-13 season, amid reports in a number of newspapers on Friday of dressing room unrest at the club.

• Jolly: City fail to learn lessons
• Papers: Mutiny at Man City?
• Premier League Spotlight

City suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night, leaving them bottom of Group D with only one point gained from their three matches played.

Roberto Mancini's men are now staring at a second group-stage exit from Europe in consecutive campaigns, with their manager coming in for criticism for his tinkering with their formation after Micah Richards claimed the players were not familiar with the 3-5-2 system.

Several newspapers on Friday report that a heated team meeting took place in the aftermath of City's loss in the Netherlands, and, speaking ahead of Saturday's meeting with Swansea, Lescott has stressed the need for improvement in a defensive sense.

He said: "It is one of those things. Last season we were scoring at will and not conceding many goals. We got a lot of plaudits so, rightly so, 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 slowish 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."

Reflecting on the Ajax defeat in particular, Lescott added: "On paper it looks great, but paper doesn't win games does it? 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. I thought the first-half performance wasn't great but we went 1-0 up and I thought we could have held on. But we conceded just before half-time, which is probably the worst time to concede."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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