Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has not given up on retaining the Premier League title, claiming his side are capable of replicating the stirring late season comeback that saw them crowned champions last term.
Toure, 29, will return to Manchester from international duty after Ivory Coast were bundled out of the African Nations Cup and he is confident a number of tough fixtures will not prevent City from reducing Manchester United's nine-point lead atop the league.
City were undefeated in Toure's absence, only dropping points against QPR and Liverpool, with the Ivorian's return to the squad at the same stage last season proving a catalyst for their resurgence.
Although City still have to face United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton, Toure has backed his team-mates to push their cross-town rivals right to the final day.
"I'm sure we'll come back," he said. "United have a strong squad and on paper they have an easier run-in than us but the title race is a long way from finished. It only takes a couple of results to go our way and we're right back in it."