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Kyle Walker urges improvement after poor Man City defensive displays



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Kyle Walker issued a defensive rallying cry after Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.

The Etihad outfit failed to keep a clean sheet for the sixth time in their last 10 games. City conceded just 33 Premier League goals in the 2022/23 campaign, but are on pace to cruise past that mark in the current season.

Despite the drop in form at the back in the stats column, City still find themselves just four points out of first place in the Premier League, and in pole position to book their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Club captain Kyle walker is not too pleased with the showings from the back-four so far this season however, and the Englishman was quick to urge improvement as his side head towards the business end of the campaign.

“I don’t think there is an easy answer [to solving the problem],” Walker said after a Raheem Sterling goal earned Chelsea a draw at the Etihad on Saturday. “If there was, nobody would concede a goal.

“You need your defenders to make blocks, forwards to press well from the start. And also your ‘keeper to make saves. It’s all a part of a collective game.

I can’t pinpoint anything on that – I’d probably be a better manager than Pep if I could. But that’s just the way football is, you have to deal with setbacks.

“As a defender, it’s like a goal for me, keeping a clean sheet. That’s my job in this team to make sure that they don’t put the ball in the back of the net, so it hurts.

“It’s not a nice feeling when we’re going to take a kick-off that we’re not meant to, but it’s part and parcel. And I think the character that was shown to keep going, keep fighting until the end, it’s what this club is all about.

Defensive issues had long been City’s kryptonite in the Champions League, and Pep Guardiola was quick to point out that improvements at the back were the key in his side’s European triumph in the 2022/23 season.

But the Etihad outfit appear to have regressed in that part of the pitch, allowing cheap goals at bad times. With less than 15 games remaining in the season, Kyle Walker and the defensive group will have to get their act together quickly.

Next up for the Blues is a visit from Brentford Tuesday night in the Premier League. A win would see City close to within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.