Pep Guardiola praised Manchester City's attitude in their win over Everton, saying other teams would "finish seventh or eighth" if they were so far behind the leaders.
Gabriel Jesus' second-half brace helped City to a 2-1 home victory on Wednesday as Guardiola's third-placed side moved within 11 points of pacesetters Liverpool, who have played two fewer games.
The City manager was pleased with his team's approach as they continue to fight in the Premier League despite Liverpool's big lead at the top.
"We played top. I am so delighted with the performance, the behaviour as always, as always that we are," Guardiola told a news conference.
"Being so far away from first after being champions for two seasons, a team in normal situations, in this situation, give up. And finish seventh or eighth in the table.
"Maybe we will finish seventh or eighth in the table, but not because we don't try. So, the game was always there, we played so good, and a good victory for us."
Guardiola opted for a 3-4-3 formation against Everton, starting Eric Garcia, Fernandinho and Rodri in defence, with Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo as wing-backs.
The former Barcelona boss was pleased with City's execution of the new system, saying it could be a more regular option moving forward.
"Maybe we will do it again," Guardiola said. "In the first half against Sheffield United, we played with three at the back, too.
"Not just second half. We changed position, but the structure was that.
"We can do it in the future. We played it really well. The five guys are so good with the ball. Riyad [Mahrez] receives the ball in better positions and that helps, too."
City are back in action on Saturday when they host Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.