Micah Richards conceded that Manchester City's players preferred playing 4-4-2 after Wednesday's UEFA Champions League loss to Ajax.
City lost 3-1 in Amsterdam as Samir Nasri's opener was cancelled out by Siem de Jong and further goals from Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen sealed their demise.
Roberto Mancini asked his team to change from a back four to switching between three and five in defence, and Richards admitted after the match that it is formation he is struggling to get to grips with.
"It's not something that we've worked on a lot, we're just used to a back four," he told Sky Sports.
"But the manager likes it and if we want to do well with it then we'll have to work harder on it.
"It's a hard system and I think the players prefer a 4-4-2 but he's the manager and we'll do what he says."
Richards also recognises that it would now be difficult to get through to the last 16 after losing a match they had desperately wanted to win.
"When we got drawn in this group we knew it was going to be a tough one," he said.
"We're disappointed today, we thought we would come here and get the three points but it wasn't to be.
"No disrespect to Ajax but we expected to come here and win, we'll look to the next game and see what we can do."
Will Manchester City still qualify from Group D?