Willy Caballero is aware that Manchester City need “to defend better”, with Pep Guardiola’s side having faced criticism on a regular basis in recent weeks.
A Premier League title bid has started to unravel at the Etihad Stadium, with just four points taken from the last 12 on offer.
A narrow defeat at Liverpool saw City end 2016 on a low note, while they were thumped 4-0 upon their return to Merseyside at Everton and threw away a two-goal lead last time out against Tottenham Hotspur.
No side in the top eight has been breached on more occasions through 22 fixtures, with Guardiola’s men now perched fifth in the top-flight standings.
Questions continue to be asked of the likes of Claudio Bravo and John Stones, with big money having been spent on under-performing international stars in a key area of the field.
Caballero, though, is confident that City will get things right, starting in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
“We know that we have to defend better than we have been doing and we know it will be tough, but I think we can win and go through,” he told the club’s official website.
“I think Crystal Palace is always a tough place to go.
“It won’t be easy to go there and win but they’ve had a complicated season so far and need to a lift so beating us in the FA Cup is something they’ll be looking to do to kick-start their season.
“Every team left in the competition wants to win the FA Cup but for us, we have the added incentive of the frustration of not beating Tottenham and the loss at Everton and because we are out of the Capital One Cup we are now focused on the FA Cup.”
City have not lifted that particular piece of silverware since 2011, when Yaya Toure fired them to a narrow 1-0 victory over Stoke City.
Caballero says there is a determination within the squad to scratch that six-year itch, with cup competitions holding a special place in his heart since his penalty shoot-out heroics against Liverpool in the 2016 League Cup final.
He added: “This is another motivation for me to get to Wembley.
“After the Capital One Cup final, everything changed for me and I felt a lot of affection from the City fans and I’ve really enjoyed it since.
“I’ll never forget that day against Liverpool and I’m sure all our players and fans want to repeat that experience but in another cup competition.
“We haven’t won the FA Cup for six years and we want to put that right.”