Willy Caballero has warned Manchester City that they cannot afford to drop more points at home if they are to stay in the Premier League title race.
City have been held to 1-1 draws by Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough in three of their last four games at the Etihad Stadium – a run that has seen them slip two points adrift of leaders Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s side have also managed just one clean sheet in their last 11 matches in all competitions, with their defensive concerns underpinning a largely poor run of results since the beginning of October.
Although they do not play at home again until December 3, when they host Chelsea, Caballero has urged his side to focus on sharpening up their form in front of their home fans if they want to sustain a title charge.
“The most important thing now is we must keep a clean sheet at home and we must win the next game at home because we are able to do it,” he said, as quoted by the club’s official website. “We did it against Barcelona, and these points we lose at home don’t return.
“We have to go to [Crystal] Palace now, to play well and go for the three points.”
Caballero feels City’s dominance of matches – especially against Everton – has not been rewarded.
“This is the most important thing and it is the most difficult thing to achieve,” said the goalkeeper. “Even with Manuel [Pellegrini] we played with a lot of possession of the ball. Now with Pep we are trying to do our best performance from the first minute, trying to keep the ball and play the most time possible with the ball.
“We have high possession all the time, every single game, but the way to win the game is by scoring goals. In the last game, we had five or six situations to score and we must keep clean sheets at home.
“In the three games, one we played perfect against Everton, another one maybe we couldn’t give our best performance but in the last game we did everything to win but couldn’t close the game.”