Manchester City have learned their lessons from a disappointing set of Christmas results during the festive period, and now have their sights set firmly on winning the Barclays Premier League title this year, says James Milner.
The 26-year-old midfielder played a starring role in last night's 3-0 victory over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium to re-establish the Citizens' lead at the top of the table.
A draw at West Brom and defeat at Sunderland meant City surrendered a six-point advantage over nearest rivals Manchester United, who are in action against Newcastle United this evening.
"We had a couple of disappointing results over the Christmas period," admitted Milner. "We know it is a critical time over any season and [we needed] to get the momentum back.
"We set our standards very high and the first half was not good enough the other day. We probably still did enough in the second half to win it but it is a learning curve.
"We need to make sure we learn from those sort of experiences and I think it shows how much character and ability there is in the dressing room that we can come back 48 hours later.
"The manager was obviously very disappointed with us but no more so than we were as individuals and as a team.
"We didn't quite have the luck over the last two games but last night it was good to get off to a good start. We kept the pressure on, defended very well and got a very good victory."
City remain unbeaten at home since December 2010 - an impressive record that could play a huge part in the title race this year. Milner is proud of the side's unbeaten run, and feels that last night's performance showed just what a fortress the Etihad Stadium is becoming.
"Liverpool are a very good side, you can see that from the side they put out and the players they brought on off the bench," he added. "They have got quality all over the field and it was always going to be tough."