In the wake of a 2-2 draw with 19th placed Burnley, David Silva has insisted the Premier League's basement teams provide a more difficult test than their title rivals.
In a cliched statement, the Manchester City midfielder told the club's official website there are no easy games in the Premier League, and that the out-of-form teams are often the hardest to play against.
City were expected to beat Burnley with ease on Sunday, but the visitors had other ideas, coming back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to earn an invaluable point in their quest to stay in the Premier League.
Having won their previous nine league and cup games, City should have made it ten, and looked certain to do so after Silva and Fernandinho had put them ahead.
Second half goals from George Boyd and Ashley Barnes rescued the points for Burnley though, denying City the chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea.
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City fans would have been left feeling like they'd lost two points rather than gained one, but Silva said: "It’s a cliché, sure, but as Burnley proved, every game is difficult in the Premier League and it is a very long season."
Next up for City is a visit from 14th-placed Sunderland on New Year's Day, another fixture they'll be widely expected to take maximum points from.
The Black Cats are currently just four points above the relegation zone having won just one of their previous nine games, but Silva explained why he'll be taking nothing for granted.
"Some people have looked at our fixtures over the past few weeks and said
that we should win them all, but football doesn’t work like that," he said.
"Any team can beat you if you're not at your best and I believe playing sides that are struggling to find form and are near the bottom of the league is worse than a run against teams near the top because they play every game as though it’s their last one of the season.”
With that in mind, Silva may be eagerly anticipating a January that will see his side travel to Everton and Chelsea either side of a home game against Arsene Wenger's resurgent Arsenal side.
Silva has been a key part of the city side that put together a nine-game winning streak, adding goals to his impressive performances.
In the absence of a recognised striker, City have been reliant on goals from midfield and Silva has responded with four in his last three games.
The need for the likes of Silva to chip in could be reduced when Sunderland visit the Etihad Stadium, with Stevan Jovetic likely to start his first game since recovering from injury.
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