Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is confident his side can win all of their remaining English Premier league fixtures and successfully defend their title as champions.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have slipped to seven points behind league-leaders Chelsea with 14 league matches left to play this season, the first being Wednesday’s visit to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City.
The Etihad Stadium outfit have failed to win in their last five matches, a run that has coincided with Toure’s absence due to national duty with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 31-year-old helped his country win the continental competition on Sunday with a penalty shootout victory over Ghana in the final and is due back in Britain this week.
However, manager Pellegrini has said it would be “impossible” for Toure or new signing and striker, Toure’s compatriot, Wilfried Bony to feature against the Potters and that their return to the league is likely to come against Newcastle United on February 21.
And after triumphing with his country, Toure is ready to inspire his club to glory.
“With my confidence I know football is not about one game or two games, especially in the Premier League,” he said, as quoted by Sports Fan.
“We have 38 games and if we want to achieve it (winning the title) we have to win all the games.”
“I know it is difficult but now I have to go back and do my duty again.”
After being held to a 1-1 home league draw with Hull on Saturday, City are unlikely to take the prospect of facing Stoke lightly, especially after Mark Hughes’s team surprisingly won 1-0 when the teams met at the Etihad in August.
And winger Jesus Navas says City cannot afford any similar slips.
“Stoke are a team who are very well organised and very disciplined,” the 29-year-old said.
“As we saw in the first game, if you are not focused and even momentarily lose concentration, they can hurt you – just as they did at the Etihad.”
“We were disappointing that day but Stoke played very well and won a game they perhaps weren’t expected to win. They are playing very well at the moment and unless we have to be at our best from start to finish.”
“We know from experience that playing at Stoke can be similar in many ways, especially if their fans are behind them throughout so we have to try and get on top early and perhaps quieten the home support.”
Stoke have lost just one of the last nine games in all competitions, and a victory over Queens Park Rangers on January 31 extended their unbeaten record on home soil to four games.
“We’re looking forward to it and it’s important that we keep our impressive run going,” Stoke boss Mark Hughes said.
“We are playing really well at the moment and I am pleased with the form we are showing so we need to keep it going.”