Manchester City manager Mark Hughes believes that long-term injuries to a number of key players have been a crucial factor in his side's struggles this season.
The likes of Martin Petrov, Valeri Bojinov and Michael Johnson have all been absent for most if not all of City's games this season, with Hughes admitting that that trio would have made a major difference.
He told the club's official website: "You always have injuries during the course of the season because it's a hard league and there are a lot of demands on players.
"To lose the likes of Martin Petrov for such a significant time is a big blow for us, because he would have given us a real attacking threat and a variation to what we've got.
"Obviously, Valeri Bojinov was doing well in pre-season and we were very hopeful that he was going to have a real impact this year, but he's been unavailable.
"Michael Johnson as well has played very few games and he's another quality player that's been unavailable to us.
"We know that we would have won more games with those players available, but they haven't been and we have to accept that they're not available at this moment in time and the players that are available have to perform."