EPL: Man City can't afford any more slip-ups , says James Milner
Manchester: James Milner conceded Manchester City might have suffered a telling blow in the title race despite his late rescue act against Hull.
Man City midfielder James Milner. Pic/Getty Images
England midfielder Milner struck a superb injury-time free-kick to snatch a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium after a troubled afternoon against the relegation battlers.
The result left the champions seven points behind English Premier League leaders Chelsea and needing inspiration to get the defence of their crown back on track.
Milner said: "We can't really afford too many more slip-ups, if any. Chelsea have a big lead now but it's down to us to see how many points we can get.
We know, more than anyone, you have to keep going to the death and anything can happen, but I think we have got to be pretty faultless between now and the end of the season to get close."
City have already recovered from a bigger deficit this season, having trailed Chelsea by eight points in November.
A good run of form in December saw them pull level with the Londoners before the end of 2014, and they could even have gone ahead had they not been pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Burnley.
But problems have again resurfaced in the new year and they are now without a win in five matches in all competitions, a streak that included a shock loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini accepted his team were lacking in ideas and Milner is at a loss to explain this season's home form. City have won just seven of their 12 league games at Eastlands this term.
He said: "You can look at a few things but over the 90 minutes I don't think we troubled them as much as we should have done.
"For whatever reason we've struggled at home this year and dropped far too many points. It's a flip from last year when our away form was poor. It's disappointing but we need to regroup and come back and try and put a run of results together."