Nigel de Jong admits Manchester City cannot afford to lose their concentration in the race for fourth spot.
The Blues missed the opportunity to clamber into the UEFA Champions League places on Wednesday when they went down 2-0 at home to Everton.
That result, their first league defeat at Eastlands this season, leaves them two points behind Harry Redknapp's Tottenham with eight games remaining.
Liverpool and Aston Villa are also pushing hard to secure a place in Europe's premier club competition and De Jong acknowledges that City must be wary of allowing their standards to drop at a vital stage of the season.
"The mood wasn't so good in the dressing room - hopefully that is because we lost a game at home," the Dutchman said in the wake of the Toffees setback.
"There was a lot for us in it. If we had taken those three points we would have taken a big step towards fourth place.
"There were a lot of disappointing decisions, especially in the first half.
"But you have got to keep continuing playing as well. It is difficult sometimes but you have to keep concentrating as well.
"That wasn't the case and that is why we lost the game."
Everton's victory in midweek gave them a Premier League double over City, and De Jong is already planning his revenge on David Moyes' men.
He added: "To lose 2-0 at home is a disappointing result, especially because we have been so strong at home.
"Everton are a good side, you have to give credit to them, but they had two chances and scored two goals.
"They have had back-to-back wins against us this season.
"You always know Everton have got a good side but I am not happy with the results we have had against them.
"We have to change that next season."