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The Ivory Coast midfielder is relishing the prospect of coming up against Chelsea, and has admitted he is aiming to get in shape ahead of the 2013-14 Premier League campaign

EXCLUSIVE
By Lunga Ntuli

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure insists he is not scared of Jose Mourinho, and is looking forward to coming up against the new Chelsea manager.

Mourinho left Real Madrid under a cloud to take over at Stamford Bridge in June, and the Blues have been installed as the bookmakers' favourites to lift the Premier League title next season.

But Toure is not fazed by the Portuguese's return to English football and is relishing the challenge of battling with the former Porto coach.

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"I am not scared of him," he told Goal. "In fact, I look forward to playing against him. That is how football is. You need to be brave and take all the challenges that come."

The 30-year-old hopes that City will be able to bounce back from a disappointing campaign under the guidance of new manager Manuel Pellegrini, and admitted that he will have to be at the top of his game.

"Looking at our preparations and with the new manager on board, I am confident that things will be better [next season]," he added. "There are a lot of signings that the club has made and I am sure that will have a positive impact on the side.

"With that in mind, I need to up my game and make sure that I am at my peak at all times. I am also hoping that I will stay injury free for the whole season so that I will be able to deliver."

Pellegrini's side got their pre-season tour of South Africa off to a losing start against Supersport United on Sunday, and Toure admits it has been a difficult start to the summer.

"I must be honest, things have been tough here, but we have been working very hard to bounce back," he continued. "Every time the season starts I always want to win something, either with the club or as an individual.

"We were a bit disappointed losing to Supersport United, but it was just part of pre-season training. The game against AmaZulu [on Thursday] is not going to be easy, and we are hoping that it will add value and challenge us."

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