Mark Hughes believes it is time for Manchester City to wise up on the road and curb their attacking instincts.
Although City are the highest scorers in the Premier League with 23 goals, they have taken just one point from the last nine available on their travels.
The Blues had twice as many shots as Middlesbrough on Wednesday and almost 60% possession but still went down to a 2-0 defeat.
While his side's free-flowing football has wowed the City fans at home, Hughes believes they have to become harder to beat away if they are to secure European qualification.
"We have still been trying to play attacking football away from home," he said.
"Maybe we have to temper that somewhat on occasion because we have played like a home side at times and allowed the team who are at home to play on the counter-attack.
"In some respects it is a positive in that the opposition is respecting the ability and quality we have. But we have to be more adept at taking points from away games."
City will be hoping to claim all three points on Sunday in their latest away game at local rivals Bolton, who slipped to second bottom this week.
Brazilian striker Jo is back in contention after returning to full fitness while Pablo Zabaleta is available to return at following his three-match ban.
Hughes has used Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha at right-back in Zabaleta's absence and the City boss sees a settled defence as crucial to improving their away record.
"If you look at the teams with a good defensive record, more often than not it is because they have a settled back four," he said.
"It does have a bearing because it has an effect on your defensive work. Defenders are like attackers, they get into a rhythm of play and develop an understanding with the people around them."