Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City's erratic form this term is not a cause for concern and is simply a result of Pep Guardiola's pursuit of perfection.
City started the season off in fine style with six successive Premier League wins, but Guardiola's honeymoon period did not last, and that run was followed by a sequence of a single victory in four outings.
Since then, City have lost to Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton, while also drawing at home to Tottenham and falling 11 points behind Antonio Conte's Stamford Bridge pacesetters.
Kompany is adamant it has not been a bad season, though, insisting City's struggles are providing them with valuable lessons in their quest to play the "perfect game".
"I think this season has been interesting, very 'learnful'," the City captain told the club's official website.
"Obviously you want to be top of the league and with the ambitions we have we want to be competing for everything and winning everything, but it has been very 'learnful' and I think we are somehow on a good track. It just needs to translate into results.
"We are looking to play the perfect game at the moment, and on the way to playing the perfect game there are a few times where it is not all going your way.
"I am not a person that will feel overly happy when the results aren't there but I won't feel negative about it because I have seen a lot of work in the background.
"A lot of players are trying to take in a new way of playing football and I think with little tweaks here and there we are on the right track as a club and as a team."
Kompany has had a minor role on the pitch for City this term due to a number of injuries, but after being fit enough to sit on the bench for their last two league outings, he feels ready for greater involvement in the second half of the campaign ahead of Monday's trip to Bournemouth.
"I want to stay fit but I want to keep improving," he said. "Very few know how many hours I put into coming back every single time.
"I think it is only when people see me back in training they realise, 'he is still running well, he is still mobile, he is still strong'.
"People don't understand you need to fight every single day against what happens when people get injured. It gives me a chance to come back into the team, to be in contention and help make a team stronger that is already one of the best in Europe.
"I am there now and I want to stay in this team as long as I can, I really enjoy it."