Pep Guardiola is pleased with the recent improvement in Manchester City's defence.
City have conceded just three goals in six games since their embarrassing loss at Leicester a month ago.
But Guardiola continues to insist the best way to defend is to control possession more and the Spaniard is keen to stress that his team still give up relatively few chances.
The City manager said: "Sometimes when you make these kind of statements, when you say we are better, you arrive the next day and you concede four goals.
"From my point of view, I think we conceded a lot of goals but we conceded few chances. I'm happy for that but we have to work more on our game.
"The only way to have success in this year is to play more with the ball. It's not easy here but we have to insist that is the only way.
"But, yes, of course, we are happy we have conceded few goals."
City's weaknesses at the back, which were ruthlessly exposed in their 4-2 loss at the King Power Stadium on December 10, have led to speculation linking the club with Bayern Munich's Holger Badstuber.
This has not been dismissed by Guardiola, who has hinted that defensive reinforcements could be made in January.
"If we need something, maybe it's at the back, central defenders or full-back," he said last week.
City will also hope to be boosted at the back by the return of captain Vincent Kompany in the near future.
The Belgian has been out since November with a knee injury - the latest in a long line of problems - but is now back in training.