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The Manchester City playmaker reveals that the team were furious after the 1-0 defeat to Sunderland, and admits it will be harder to retain their title, but says that is their aim

David Silva has expressed his frustration at losing 1-0 to Sunderland on Boxing Day, a result that extended the gap between the champions and current leaders Manchester United to seven points.

However, despite seeing themselves fall far behind their crosstown rivals, Manchester City will recognise this situation from last season's triumphant turn-around, which saw them catch the Red Devils despite being more than 10 points adrift with eight games remaining.

Silva has called for his team-mates to brush off the defeat at Sunderland, and rally themselves to focus on the greater goal of successfully defending their Premier League title.

He told The Sun: “The defeat in Sunderland was a hard blow for us. Nobody believed we would lose.

“As a team we have a huge desire to repeat our title success.

“But as we know that the Premier League is very open and if you give away chances you can be beaten.

“Even so, there was a lot of anger in the dressing room — and not only from the coach.

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“Those three points were so important because in our situation they could make the difference between us winning and losing the title.

“And really, if we do not win at places like Sunderland, it is nearly impossible to fight for the success in this league."

Roberto Mancini has recently lashed out at his strike-force, admitting his disappointment with their poor goal-scoring record. But the Spaniard believes that opposing teams are understanding the style of Manchester City, making Mancini's side easier to defend against.

Silva continued: “It’s not a question of lack of quality or bad luck. Rivals know how to play against us and each day make it more difficult for us to triumph.

“There is a long way to go — but we cannot allow United any more advantage at the top of the table. The future is in our own hands but we have already shown how powerful we can be during our worst moments during the past year.

“Our goal this season was the Champions League — but now that chance has gone we want to win the Premier League and dedicate the achievement to our fans.

“It won’t be easy but our challenge is to be back level with Manchester United by the end of February.”

Manchester City travel to Carrow Road to face Chris Hughton's vibrant Norwich side, who have already defeated Arsenal and Manchester United this season.

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