Sergio Aguero believes Manchester City will recover from their Champions League disappointment and retain their Premier League crown this season.
City were eliminated from Europe's elite competition after their 1-1 draw at home to Real Madrid on Wednesday, and have so far failed to pick up a single win with only one game remaining.
However, the 24-year-old is determined to help his teammates recover and is certain they are capable of winning the Premier League for a second successive season.
“I’m sure we will retain our title,” Aguero told reporters.
“It’s true that Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and other teams have strengthened their squads intelligently compared with last season.
“But we are the champions and they want to take us on - so that’s only to be expected.
“It won’t be easy for them because we are growing as a team and we get to know each other better every time we play.
“It’s true that we don’t have the same flair in games that we had last season and we’ve scored fewer goals for sure.
“But the Premier League table says something different. It says we are very hard to beat, top of the table and defending well, so we can’t be doing that badly can we?”
After an indifferent start to their defence of the title, the defending champions returned to form and to the top of the Premier League after a 5-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.
And Aguero has blamed his side's inconsistent form at the start of the season on injuries, insisting that the best is yet to come.
“We have been hindered by a string of injuries to important players,” he added.
“David Silva, Zabaleta, Garcia, Lescott, Richards, Maicon, Barry, Nasri, Milner, myself - it’s not easy when they all happen simultaneously.
“Last season we had very few injuries. If we have been succeeding despite these difficulties, then it makes me believe that the best is still to come and we’ll be able to repeat our form of last year.
“We are destined to win more trophies and barring any major setbacks, we will.
“When I first arrived at City after my first game against Swansea, I said I hoped this was the beginning of something very big.
“Our Premier League title showed it possibly was and that we had great things ahead. As I said, I firmly believe the best is yet to come.”