Pep Guardiola was left lamenting Manchester City's wasted opportunities after they drew 1-1 with West Brom on Tuesday.
The home side took the lead 30 minutes into the Premier League encounter through Ilkay Gundogan, with the German midfielder sweeping home after a pass from Raheem Sterling.
Shortly before half time, the visitors pulled level when Semi Ajayi's shot bounced in off of Ruben Dias.
City were dominant in the second period and made 26 attempts on goal over the course of the game, although only seven were on target whereas West Brom registered five shots and got just one on target.
Guardiola was disappointed in his side's failure to see out the victory and says they cannot afford to drop points at home to teams like Slaven Bilic's if they are to compete for the Premier League title this season.
"We didn't create much in the first half, they had a lot of people back, we struggled to win the second balls," he told Amazon. "In the second half we did everything we just couldn't score.
"We created enough to win the game, 26 shots I think, you just have to put the ball in. We are struggling with that. We have to be optimistic.
"You don't have to be so clever to see the gap between this year and previous years [in our results].
"It's not confidence, Sergio Aguero was injured for four months, but we create chances, we are there we just can't score.
"It is not about the points [to the top of the league], you have to win games like this. We know it, we drop points. These are the ones you have to win.
"It's not far away to the top of the league but you have to beat West Brom at home. There are a lot of games left. This situation is weird for everyone. We deserved to win the game but we didn't win it."
City have won just two of their last five matches in the Premier League and Tuesday's result leaves them five points behind Tottenham and Liverpool, who face each other at Anfield on Wednesday.