Drinkwater: It was difficult

Danny Drinkwater explained from a player’s perspective what it was like playing against Manchester City yesterday.

The midfielder started his second consecutive Premier League fixture against the side running away with the title. Drinkwater spoke about the thinking behind the strategy and how on another day we might have left the Etihad with a point.

‘We came to frustrate them and it was working at times in the game, but in the end we lost it so it’s no good,’ he said.

‘It was our game plan, but we have got to take responsibility on the pitch. We had to try and nullify them. They try and pull you out of pockets, frustrate you defensively and play round you. That’s how they create their spaces between the two lines.

‘We were trying as hard as we could to not let that happen, but with the players they have got it was going to happen sometimes.

‘It was difficult. It felt like we were doing a lot of running and they had all the time in the world. The way they scored the goal is tough to take.

‘We didn’t utilise the counter-attack as well as we could have done,’ added Drinkwater, who turns 28 today. ‘We were sloppy on the ball sometimes. We were running a lot off the ball so it’s about finding the balance. It’s frustrating because we could have drawn 0-0 and that wouldn’t have been a bad result.’

In the league we now have three games in a row at home, all London derbies with Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham the visitors to Stamford Bridge. Drinkwater acknowledged we must go on a winning run as soon as possible if we are to finish the season in the top four.

‘We need to get back on it. The quicker we do that the better. Gaps can close, positions can change and we need to make that change.

‘We need to look at what’s available to us now points wise. There are nine games left, 27 points, and stuff can still change. We need to force our way back into it.’