Gael Clichy believes Manchester City need to rediscover their fighting spirit if they are to keep their title challenge on track.
• Blog: A dish fit for a king
• Balotelli fights City fine
City hauled themselves out of a hole to win the Premier League in dramatic fashion last term, which looked set to signal a new era of dominance.
This season has not gone according to script for City, who crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage and trail Manchester United by six points domestically.
Roberto Mancini's men came under real pressure at Newcastle on Saturday, but fended off the Magpies to claim a 3-1 win and Clichy feels the team need to show more of that spirit.
"The only thing we have been missing this year is probably a bit of spirit," Clichy is quoted as saying in The Sun. "From last season, people expect more from us - our fans, ourselves.
"Last season was a great season, but like the manager says, we have to put it behind us and start to work. This could be an example for everyone because the work-rate was unbelievable, from the players up front to the defenders. That's the spirit we have to have.
"We know the quality is there. We do not have a problem with scoring. We have seen it since the beginning of the season that we can score against any team, any time. But we just need this extra fighting spirit and on Saturday, we had it."