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The Ivory Coast international admits, a year after his lengthy drugs ban, that a league medal would ease his pain at missing the Citizens' FA Cup triumph last season

Kolo Toure has drawn comparisons with his table-topping Manchester City side to that of Arsenal's ‘Invincibles’ of the 2003-04 season.

The Mancunian outfit sit two points ahead of rivals Manchester United at the top of the Premier League and remain odds-on favourites to take the title for the first time since 1968.

Toure believes that City’s ability to win games without their strongest players is an attribute that can help them triumph come the end of the campaign, just like the Gunners side of which he was a part eight years ago.

The defender told reporters: "The quality is the same because we had 24 great players at Arsenal and here is the same, we also have 24 great players. Here you can change any player.
 
“David Silva didn't play [against Bolton], but we still won the game. [Sergio] Aguero didn't play, but we still won the game.

"In our time at Arsenal it was like this. Dennis Bergkamp was on the bench, Kanu was on the bench, but we still managed to win the games.

"That's really important when you have a big squad like that, that you can change, give some players a rest and this can be really helpful come the end of the season."

Manchester City are 10/3 with Bet365 to be drawing at half-time and leading at full-time when they take on Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Ivory Coast centre-back spent six months of 2011 on the sidelines after failing a dugs test and admitting taking an unspecified substance, missing a period that included City’s FA Cup victory, and he conceded that a Premier League winners’ medal would ease the pain of missing the Wembley triumph.

"Yes, of course [it would ease the disappointment],” Toure observed.

"The past is the past. We all struggle in life at a certain point. I think what happened made me a better person, a stronger person.

“I just realised how important that time is when you are able to play on the pitch, even for five or 10 minutes. I'm just giving 100 per cent now every time I contribute to the team and showing as much quality as I have, to try to help the team to win the title.

"The situation is very different for me now," he added. "My ban started on March 3. I'm very happy now. I was really angry last time, but life is like that – there are hard times and good times and when the good times come you've just got to enjoy it."

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