(Reuters) - Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has told his team mates that they need a "one million percent" improvement if they are to come away from Monday's Premier League trip to Arsenal with a win.
City are third in the table, a point behind the Gunners, and Hart is displeased by what he perceives to be a lack of consistency in their performances.
"We need to be a million percent better," the England international told British media.
"We need to step up. We can be awesome when we want to be, so we need to be more consistent -- that's what we're looking for."
City have had to rely on late surges to secure results a number of times this season, including in their 2-1 win over Swansea City at the weekend, and Hart said he was unhappy about their failure to dominate games from the start.
"It's a shame it needs the dragon to be poked before we come out of the cage," he said.
"I'd say in four of the five games, we shouldn't have been in that position where we needed to win in the last minute, but it's nice that we've got that. We need to be seeing games out more and not relying on that.
"We know what we've got here and it's frustrating when we don't do it, but it's a long season and we've got ourselves into a good place."
The stopper refused to blame fatigue for the sluggish displays, as the team did after the 2-0 defeat by Stoke on Dec. 5, especially as they have a lengthy break before their visit to Arsenal.
"We used that excuse, so we can't use it again," he said.
"We probably were, but it's not an excuse I will use -- I refuse to.
"We have nine days before we play Arsenal and we have to use that time wisely. We have to get our heads together and start playing properly again."
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney