The champions are already five points off Jurgen Klopp's team after Saturday's 3-2 loss to Norwich.
But City were seven points off Liverpool after 20 games last season.
De Bruyne said: “We can still win with the same points at the end of this season. You don't need to win by 15 points as it is the Premier League. It happened once.
“It is so tough and you want to finish first – it does not matter how you do it.
“Last season, we were seven points behind. It happens. Of course we want to win every game but it is difficult.
“Nobody was shouting or angry with each other. Everyone makes mistakes. It gets magnified when you lose but you make mistakes when you win. People are down but you pick them up as a team and then we go to Wednesday as Shakhtar is important.
“You take the defeat, you learn from your mistakes and go to the next one.
"There's no point dwelling on it or blaming other people. Here, 14 people played and the team did not do well enough. Then we go on to Wednesday and then Saturday – and then Tuesday. There is no point crying about what happened."