Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has told his players time is running out to secure a European place following their 2-0 defeat at Reading.
Shane Long gave the hosts a deserved lead in the 62nd minute before substitute Dave Kitson sealed it late on, leaving City with just two wins in their last 12 Premier League games.
That has seen City slide to eighth and Eriksson insists they must bounce back to winning ways if they are to salvage European qualification.
In the last three games, City have been a shadow of the side that has spent most of the season in the top six - both in defence and up front.
However, the Blues lost captain Richard Dunne to an early injury at Reading and Eriksson felt Michael Johnson should have been awarded a penalty just before the break instead of being booked for diving.
"We've played three games now and haven't scored a goal," he said. "Two of the games we've conceded were rather simple goals which was not our case in the first half of the season.
"I don't think we deserved to lose today and maybe we should have got a penalty. I think it was wrong by the referee, it's as simple as that, so it's difficult times. We have to sort it out and start to win games again.
"That's the most important thing now and we have to start to win them quickly because there's only nine games to play."
City defender Vedran Corluka missed a gilt-edged opportunity midway through the first half but moments later they lost Dunne after he suffered a gashed shin.
Already without Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha, City's makeshift defence capitulated in the second half and Eriksson is hoping Dunne recovers in time for next week's home clash against Tottenham.
"I don't know if he had six or nine stitches in the front of his leg," he said. "It was bad for him because he couldn't go on and we'll see if he's ready for (next week) or not.
"Today they were two easy goals. The second I can understand because our captain was already out and Michael Ball had twisted his knee as well but we didn't have any more defenders on the bench."
Eriksson's decision to continue with Benjani in a lone striker role back-fired and the City boss admits there could be changes against Spurs.
"When you play three games, get one point and don't score a goal, you have to look at everything and see how we're going to play next week," he added.