Ball: Man City showed Chelsea too much respect

Michael Ball accepts Manchester City gave Chelsea too much respect in Saturday's defeat.

"We played some good football at times," fullback Ball told City's website, "especially in the first half when we had a few chances. With a bit of luck we could have had a goal and then it would have been a very different game.

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"But Chelsea are a very good side, they have some excellent players, especially in midfield, and we gave them too much respect at times. Sometimes we did get at them, put them under pressure and had some good spells - but we need to do that for a lot longer.

"We had a game plan to get at them, make them knock up long balls for Dunnie & Nedum to win the headers for us to get it down and play. It worked at times, Martin (Petrov) had a few chances and their goalkeeper made save good saves.

"We didn't carry it on and when you play good teams, and you give them time and space, they will try to hurt you."

The 28-year-old had missed the previous Saturday's poor performance at St Andrews, and even in the defeat to Chelsea he sees the prospects of an improvement in results over the final five games of the season.

He adds, "The Manager told us it was a lot better than a week before, we passed it around and got at them but personally we have to do it for longer periods. We've got to get some results now and climb back up the table. The season is not over, we want to finish on a high, so to do that we've got to start winning games."

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