Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri believes that his side will overhaul Chelsea at the top of the Premier League and retain the title they won last season.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini questioned his side’s character after they blew a two-goal lead at home to struggling Burnley on Sunday to draw 2-2.
City made a hash of defending their league crown two seasons ago under Roberto Mancini. They allowed neighbors United to land the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final act as manager.
Questions are now being asked again, but Nasri insists that his side will not blow it this time.
The Frenchman said: “Yes, we all know what happened before and it’s an example for us. “We know what we need to do, what not to do as well.”
He said that City have learned from their mistakes made when United eventually finished well clear.
“Everyone is stronger,” he said. “We get older, we get more mature and stronger mentally. You learn to deal with different situations. We know how to deal with the pressure.”
Nasri, 27, denied that fatigue was a reason for allowing Burnley to come back – which is what Pellegrini thought was the reason – and they are well placed to catch Chelsea.
City returned to action at home to Sunderland on New Year’s Day, and Chelsea were away to Tottenham.
They must make a decision over Frank Lampard’s future.
Pellegrini wants to extend the former England midfielder’s loan from sister club New York City.
It is uncertain whether Lampard will remain for the whole season – as Pellegrini hopes – but he is expected to stay to cover the absence of Yaya Toure for the African Nations Cup.
Nasri also hopes Lampard can stay because he said his experience and ability to score vital goals is invaluable.