Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City cannot become complacent after last season's Premier League triumph, telling his players to forget about the club's historic title victory.
Mancini guided City to their first league title in 44 years last term, with a Sergio Aguero strike in injury-time on the final matchday sealing the win. The Italian, who succeeded Mark Hughes in December 2009, is now committed to the Etihad Stadium until 2017 and says the club must continue building in the future.
"We did a good job for the last two years and I hope we can do a better one in the next five," Mancini told City TV.
"But we cannot rest or start thinking that because we won the title that we are the best. It is more difficult to win the title when you are defending champions.
"We start again as if from nothing - we must forget that we won the title. Every team will want to beat us and we must work harder than ever."
City's pre-season campaign has started in stuttering fashion, with Tuesday evening's scoreless draw against Dynamo Dresden following their 1-0 loss to Saudi side Al Hilal last week.
Skipper Vincent Kompany limped off in the 68th minute against Dynamo, clutching at his hamstring. However, Mancini later played down injury fears, claiming the defender had been taken off as a precaution.
Carlos Tevez failed to fire in both friendlies, but Mancini has been impressed by the attitude of the controversial striker, again stating he expects Tevez to remain with City amid reports AC Milan are interested in his services.
"After January last year the problems with Carlos were finished," Mancini said. "He came back to Manchester and his behaviour was good. He played a lot of games and scored important goals that helped us win the title. Now he has started the pre-season training very well.
"I think such speculation is normal. We have four top strikers and all the other teams in Europe would like strikers like them."