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Newcastle United
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Platt: Goals will come for City

Manchester City assistant boss David Platt is confident the defending Barclays Premier League champions will soon rediscover their goal-scoring touch and he maintains his club can erase its seven-point standings deficit to Manchester United.

"United are in the driving seat but there is half a season to go. I don't think it is insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination," he said.

"It's not as though we are playing badly. We feel as though we are playing well, we are producing efforts on target. We are dominating possession and every statistic in most games, except goals."

Manager Roberto Mancini had bemoaned the lack of output from his strikers in recent weeks and said they were "maybe too soft" after the frustrating Premier League defeat at Sunderland on Boxing Day. Platt, the first-team coach, feels it is unfair to highlight Mancini's use of the word "soft," as he said the Italian was trying to describe a failure to take chances.

"I don't think he means soft -- sometimes it can be lost in translation," Platt said.

The latest statistics do not flatter City's highly-rated strikeforce. After 19 games last season City had scored 53 goals and were top of the table, but at the halfway point this term they have managed just 34 and are seven points behind leaders Manchester United.

"In the last few games we have produced enough efforts on goal but if you correlate the statistics we should be scoring more goals. These things have a habit of balancing out over the season," he said. "Goalscorers, at the end of the season, usually have the same quota that they had (in previous years). What we have to do is keep on producing the chances. But it's not just about strikers. We have to start scoring goals when we have a supremacy in the game."

There has been speculation City could strengthen their squad during the upcoming transfer window but Platt downplayed that prospect.

"The kind of players you would want to improve a squad like Manchester City are invariably already playing for the top teams that are involved in chasing honors. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't do any business," he said.

Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy could return against Norwich at Carrow Road but striker Mario Balotelli, who has missed the last three games, remains doubtful.

"Mario is still feeling the effects of the virus," Platt said.

Information from Press Association Sport was used in this report.


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