John Stones admits Manchester City feel “flat” after dropping two points at Newcastle, but says the reigning Premier League champions will “fight until the last day” in the defence of their title.
Pep Guardiola thought his side had dug out another priceless win as the clock ticked down at St James’ Park.
Kevin De Bruyne crashed home a spectacular effort to put the Blues in front, but Jonjo Shelvey was to have the final word as he rescued a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
City were already eight points adrift of table-topping Liverpool heading into their latest outing, and the Reds are edging further into the distance.
Stones admits another heroic effort is going to be required from Guardiola’s side in order to complete a hat-trick of top-flight crowns.
Nobody at the Etihad Stadium will be throwing in the towel, though, with it up to the Blues to lift themselves again after enduring a disappointing afternoon on Tyneside.
Stones told BT Sport: “That result is hard to take. The dressing room is really flat.
“Everything happened so quickly in the last 10 minutes from elation to deflation. It’s a difficult one to take.
“They set up defensively right from the off. We conceded two sloppy goals today and that has cost us today.
“The chase is still on. We fight until the last day. That’s what we did last season.
“Anything can happen. Today we played some unbelievable play but those mistakes cost us.”
Time is still on City’s side when it comes to bridging the gap which separates them from the Premier League summit.
Guardiola is fully aware of that fact and will continue to focus on the present rather than get caught up in what the future might bring.
He told reporters after the stalemate at Newcastle: “It’s not a good idea to think about the Premier League or how many points, just win games, if we won’t win it will be more difficult," he said.
“We have another opponent in front of us, we have to try and win games and see what happens.”
City will be back in action on Tuesday away at Burnley, before then welcoming arch-rivals Manchester United to the Etihad for an eagerly anticipated derby date.