Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov believes they can achieve their biggest ever comeback to reclaim the Premier League title.
After a run of three successive defeats including a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in their last outing at Anfield, City are in danger of slipping out of the title race despite being early favourites.
Their poor run of form has seen them fall to fourth in the league, 10 points behind leaders Leicester and only above fifth-placed Manchester United on goal difference, although Manuel Pellegrini’s side do have a game in hand.
City will take confidence from past experience having fought back from seemingly irretrievable positions before. In 2012, City claimed their first Premier League title in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season, having being trailing by eight points with six games remaining.
Pellegrini’s side were in a similar position two years ago after losing to title-contenders Liverpool in April, but they won their last six games to win their second title.
Asked if winning the league from their current position would surpass those fightbacks, defender Kolarov said: “It could be. Four years ago we always knew we could come back and this could be another great City season, but first we have to do more on the pitch and that is up to us.
“I remember this game against Arsenal and when we won the second title there was a similar game against Liverpool that we lost 3-2.
“And especially I think this year, more than others, you see the other results as well have been very difficult to predict.
“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 other 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 will look to get back to winning ways as they host bottom side Aston Villa on Saturday, and a victory would ensure at least some ground being made up as second-placed Tottenham take on third-placed Arsenal.
The Serbian left-back said: “Maybe we have an advantage but the other clubs are doing so well, especially Leicester and Tottenham.
“We just have to be focused on Saturday’s game because we have no option but to win it. We know 100 per cent Arsenal or Tottenham are going to drop points. It will be even more difficult than last time but we believe.”