Lescott highlights the positives
Joleon Lescott admits Manchester City have made a "slowish" start to the season but isn't getting too down-hearted.
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City are yet to rediscover the panache that carried them to the Barclays Premier League title last season and it may already be too late to salvage their Champions League hopes.
Roberto Mancini's men began their latest European challenge with greater expectations but are again facing the prospect of a second successive early elimination after a costly defeat to Ajax in midweek.
City were beaten 3-1 in Amsterdam and are now bottom of Group D, six points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund and five behind Real Madrid.
One area of concern has been the form of the defence with the usually formidable Vincent Kompany below his best and Lescott in and out of the side.
But Lescott said: "It is one of those things. Last season we were scoring at will and not conceding many goals. We got a lot of plaudits so, rightly so, we are in for criticism now because we are conceding more goals.
"As a team we are not overly enthusiastic with the way things are going but we are getting there.
"It is a slowish start for us this season but we are still in the top three of the Premier League and we are still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League."
Lescott admits it is difficult to fathom why City, with all their obvious quality, have not been firing this term, most obviously in Europe.
The 30-year-old said: "On paper it looks great, but paper doesn't win games does it?
"We need to put it in. We win and lose together.
"Obviously the opposition is of a great standard, so we know there are no easy games, but we go into each game confident we can achieve something and play our way. But they made it hard for us.
"Obviously it was disappointing, the result.
"I thought the first-half performance wasn't great but we went 1-0 up and I thought we could have held on. But we conceded just before half-time, which is probably the worst time to concede."
City led early on in the Dutch capital through Samir Nasri but it came against the run of play and Ajax hit back through Siem de Jong, Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen.
The champions will look to put their European problems aside as they host Swansea in the Premier League, in which they are still unbeaten, at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Lescott said: "Of course, Swansea is going to be a totally different game.
"We are confident we can dictate that game and create a lot more chances."