Cape Town - Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan feels now is not the time to "watch the table" as the Citizens prepare to face Crystal Palace on Saturday.
It has been a below-par start for City, who arrived into the new season as hot favourites to win their third successive Premier League title under Pep Guardiola.
However, they have had some disappointing results already this season, most notably a 3-2 defeat away at a depleted Norwich in September.
They were also beaten 2-0 at home by Wolves last time out after Adama Traore's late brace saw them succumb to their first home defeat since December.
City have struggled particularly since Aymeric Laporte was ruled out of action for six months following a knee injury sustained against Brighton in their 4-0 win at the end of August.
John Stones has also struggled with his fitness for most of the season so far, meaning City have been forced to use a skeleton defence featuring midfielder Fernandinho playing regularly at the back.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have started the season in perfect form, winning all eight of their Premier League games so far, with the Merseysiders building up an eight-point cushion to their nearest rivals.
Ahead of the resumption of Premier League hostilities on Saturday at Crystal Palace following the international break, Gundogan says the squad are not focused on the league table and are just taking every game in their stride.
"We go to Crystal Palace, which will be tough, but we have no choice - we will try to improve," declared Gundogan.
"When you are in front (in the table), it always feels great - that's why it's a bit tougher to watch the table right now as we are not there and there is quite a gap. But maybe we shouldn't watch the table now."
Guardiola's men will be hoping to get their job done before cheering on rivals Manchester United against Liverpool on Sunday.
City's first Premier League meeting of the season with the Reds is on November 10 at Anfield in what could be the defining game of the campaign.
- TeamTalk Media