Questions have quickly been asked of Pep Guardiola’s side but their star midfielder insists they are still on the right track
Bernardo Silva believes Manchester City have nothing to prove and has backed his side to cope with their defensive crisis.
City have won back-to-back Premier League titles and enjoyed a clean sweep of domestic honours in a memorable campaign last time out.
But Pep Guardiola’s men find themselves five points behind Liverpool with five matches of the 2019-20 league campaign played following last weekend’s shock 3-2 loss at Norwich City .
The reigning English champions returned to winning ways on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and Silva is taking little notice of the criticism he and his team-mates have faced in recent days.
“People can criticise and say what they want,” Silva told reporters after the victory in Kharkiv.
“We don’t need to prove anything to anyone, after what we’ve done the last two seasons. We’re relaxed.
“Of course we’re not happy, because we want to do better and we know losing against Norwich isn’t ideal, but all teams have good and bad moments. It’s impossible to stay three seasons, only with good moments.
“Sometimes you will have bad moments and it’s the way you react to those bad moments that shows and proved how good a team you are and that’s what we’ll try to do.
“Every time we’ve had bad moments in the past, we’ve always reacted well, and that’s what we’ll try to do again.”
Nicolas Otamendi was City’s only established centre-back for their trip to Shakhtar after John Stones joined Aymeric Laporte in the treatment room.
Fernandinho filled in alongside Otamendi and looked comfortable as City kept a clean sheet, giving Silva confidence that his side can deal with the double blow.
“We saw last season that Fernandinho’s able to play in that position,” he said.
“He’s very intelligent and when you understand the game and you’re intelligent like he is, it’s easy.
“Obviously it’s not the ideal situation, because we don’t have a lot of centre-backs right now, but it’s what we have and we have no complaints.
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“In the Premier League we’re five points behind. We want to do better, we want to try to close the gap a little bit, but in the Champions League it was a great way to start the group stage.
“We want to keep going this way, keep improving and try to win games.”
Manchester City return to Premier League action with a home match against Watford on Saturday.