Pep Guardiola is not getting carried away by Manchester City's recent strong run as he knows complacency could prove costly against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.
City go into the Brighton game on a six-match winning run in all competitions, conceding just twice in that time.
Guardiola's side are now only four points behind champions Liverpool with two games in hand, yet the manager knows they must continue to perform.
"The momentum arrives and disappears in one instant," said Guardiola.
"We cannot forget the teams we beat recently, especially in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup against two strong teams away.
"But the momentum can disappear tomorrow, so we have to do it again. Especially for the way we are playing."
Indeed, despite City winning each of their six Premier League games against Brighton, Guardiola is particularly wary of Wednesday's opponents.
"Brighton are a joy to watch," he said. "They are a joy to analyse.
"I said to the players today: we have to be at a high standard to beat them. Forget the results we had in the past - they are better in all departments."
Given City's form, however, Brighton are also expecting to have their work cut out.
Graham Potter said: "They're in a really good moment. The Chelsea game in particular was one of the best games I have seen from a performance perspective; they were fantastic.
"They have been solid, they don't concede much, defensively they are very sound.
"And the fluidity that you associate with them has been getting better and better, as you'd expect; they're a top team."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Manchester City - Phil Foden
Midfielder Foden is enjoying a fine season and has scored three goals in his past five games in all competitions. However, Guardiola said this week he "still has big margins to improve because it would be bad news if he could not improve at the age he is". Another big display against Brighton as part of an extended run of form could see Foden take another stride forward.
Brighton and Hove Albion - Danny Welbeck
A former Manchester United player, Welbeck will be determined to hinder their rivals' hopes. But the ex-England striker has a poor record against City, failing to find the net in any of his 13 Premier League appearances against them with four different clubs (Sunderland, United, Arsenal and Watford).
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Brighton have never won an away league game against City in 10 previous attempts (D2 L8), losing their past six visits in a row between 1983 and 2019.
- Brighton have led for just 83 seconds in their six Premier League meetings with City; Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls the lead in May 2019 before Sergio Aguero equalised, with City going on to win 4-1 to clinch the title.
- Since shipping five goals against Leicester City in a 5-2 defeat in September, Guardiola's side have conceded just seven in 13 Premier League games, four fewer than any other side since the start of October.
- Brighton have conceded the fifth-highest number of goals in the Premier League this season (28) but have the sixth-lowest expected goals against figure so far (18.6), meaning they have conceded around nine goals more than would normally be expected based on the quality of chances they have faced.
- Brighton have won just one of their past 15 league games (D8 L6) and are winless in eight since a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in November. Only Sheffield United (20) are on a current longer winless run in the Premier League than the Seagulls.