By FOX SPORTS Staff
City were expected to follow up their incredible Premier League title in the last campaign win with a strong showing this season, but the Citizens have been thus far woeful and have come under intense criticism for their substandard displays.
The Citizens were knocked out of the Champions League during the group stages and now look highly unlikely to retain their Premier League title after last weekend's results, which saw Roberto Mancini's men fall to a 3-1 defeat to Southampton and Manchester United beating Everton 2-0, meant that the Red Devils now held a massive 12 point lead at the top of the table.
Despite their recent run of poor form, Zabaleta insists the atmosphere within the City dressing room is that of optimism and claims everyone is confident of turning their fortunes around.
"We had a great session on Wednesday afternoon and the feeling among the lads is very positive," Zabaleta was quoted as saying by the official City website.
"Sometimes after a game like Southampton you need a few days to think about what went wrong and why, and then come back stronger and I believe that's what will happen."
Zabaleta was also critical of his side's performance against the Saints and bemoaned the inconvenient scheduling of the international fixtures.
"We know we gave probably our worst performance for two years or more last Saturday," Zabaleta added.
"It couldn't have come at a worse time because it was such a vital game in the title race and United keep winning so the gap is even bigger than before, but you never know in football
"I think it was just one of those days when everything went wrong.
"It's not an excuse, but sometimes when everyone is away for international duty in the days before it is difficult to prepare in the normal way and I think it didn't help us on this occasion.
"But having said that, we must give full credit to Southampton who played really well and pressed us from the first minute to the last.
"We have to hold our hands up and admit they were better than us on the day."
The Argentina international believes that lessons have been learnt from their loss to the Saints and claimed his side were now focused on beating Leeds United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
"We will learn from this defeat and use the deflated feeling we had afterwards as an inspiration to maybe try and re-discover the sort of spirit we had last season," Zabaleta declared.
"We need to stand together, battle and show what we are really capable of.
"We will aim and get back to winning ways at the weekend in the FA Cup and that is our immediate focus now."
City have only managed to record 53 points from 26 Premier League games so far this season.