Stones refusing to give up on title race

Manchester City

Manchester City defender John Stones says he will continue to fight for the Premier League title despite his side dropping points on Saturday.

Jonjo Shelvey’s late stunner meant Pep Guardiola’s side had to settle for a point in their 2-2 draw at Newcastle, having twice surrendered a lead.

It was another frustrating chapter in what has been a tricky season for City as they could not shake off Steve Bruce’s side.

Raheem Sterling’s early goal was cancelled out by Jetro Willems’ strike just three minutes later.

Kevin de Bruyne’s thunderbolt eight minutes from time looked to have rescued City from another disappointing result but Shelvey’s strike from distance meant that the points were shared.

Liverpool’s win against Brighton later that afternoon meant that the gap between the two sides extended to 11 points with City now requiring a huge swing in the second half of the season to catch the Reds.

Despite the unlikeliness of a comeback, the England defender insists the focus of the squad is still on trying to catch Liverpool and win their third successive title.

Stones said: “We need to look at our game and see what we did wrong. We need to be very open in how we approach the negative things and also the positive things we did today and see where we can improve.

“That’s the main goal and everyone’s dream. That dream should remain and we still have to fight for everyone. I’m sure the fans and everyone involved in the club is doing the same.”

While Liverpool are top of the table after 14 games having only dropped points in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United, City have already lost three times.

They were embarrassed 3-2 away at Norwich in September before losing 2-0 at home to Wolves, then in the top-of-the-table showdown at Anfield in November, they were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool.

City will also have to contend with injuries over the coming weeks and months with Sergio Aguero set to miss the trip to Burnley on Tuesday as well as next Saturday’s Manchester derby.

Aymeric Laporte is also still out of action for the long term with a knee injury.