Manchester City match-winner Kyle Walker felt the defending Premier League champions were short of their best in the 2-1 victory over Newcastle United.
City returned to winning ways following last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Wolves but at times they again appeared vulnerable on the counter-attack.
DeAndre Yedlin was on hand to convert from Salomon Rondon’s cross in the 30th minute after Raheem Sterling gave the hosts an early lead at the Etihad Stadium.
Walker, who failed to score as City racked up points and goals records last season, sensationally drove home from 30 yards seven minutes into the second half and that proved enough to stay two points behind early pacesetters Liverpool and Chelsea at the summit.
“It’s always going to happen when a team is set up like that, you’re always going to get done on the counter but that is something we need to improve on.
“There are still cobwebs to brush off after the summer. Hopefully it’s all able to come good after the international break.”
On his standout contribution, Walker added: “It’s good to get on the scoresheet, I didn’t score at all last season.
“We adapted the system a little bit differently, which helped me to get forward a bit more.
“It’s good to bounce back with three points after a disappointment against Wolves.”
Sterling was impressed by Newcastle’s stout resilience.
“Newcastle defended really well and we had to dig deep to get the three points,” he said.
“They played a brilliant game out there and we had to just go for it.
“We had quite a few games at home with teams defending really deep and coped. We dug deep and got some wins and this season is going to be the same.”