Vincent Kompany said there is no "panic" at Manchester City as they bid to claw back the seven-point deficit to Manchester United.
Last season City managed to win the title despite being eight points behind United with only six games remaining and Kompany said: "A couple of years ago had we fallen seven points behind we would all have said to ourselves that it would be very difficult. But now we have done it, nobody panics.
"Everything is still possible. We have proved what we can do and everybody is very calm. That's the advantage you get when you win it once. You have that inner confidence.
"It is a big challenge but that doesn't make it any less interesting. We have set our standards high and have worked hard for a long time to bring ourselves into this position. We are not going to let it slip now. When you have won the title, you aim for another one. That is not just the ambition for 2013 but for the future of the club."
Kompany believes this year it may take more than the 89 points with which City claimed the championship. He said: "It looks like it. The reason we are not closer to United is not that we have been playing badly. We have only lost two games, which is not a bad record at this stage of the season. But United are doing extremely well and, if they continue to play like they have been doing, it will be difficult. But we are capable of having a long, long winning streak that will bring us very close."
Gaël Clichy believes the resolve that drove City to the Premier League crown had been the absent in the campaign so far. "I think the only thing we have been missing this year is, probably, a bit of spirit," he told the club programme, speaking before last weekend. "It's only understandable that, because of last season, people expect more from us – our fans, ourselves, and the media. It's human nature to want to always do better. Last year was a great campaign. But we just need that extra fighting spirit to mix with our ability."
City beat Stoke City 3-0 on New Year's Day to make it seven goals in their past two league outings, after defeating Norwich City 4-3. City's total of 41 strikes is the Premier League's second highest with their 19 conceded the best defensively – overtaking Stoke – and Kompany believes the side is coming to the boil.
"I think so but even when you look at the Sunderland match [losing 1-0 on Boxing Day], I don't think it was a bad game. We were really unlucky and should have scored several goals," he said. "We have overcome what was the best defence in the league [Stoke]. If we carry on like this and have the whole our squad available things will turn, especially because we are going to be playing one game a week.
"Even against Norwich we were calm. It was never easy but it never looked like we were going to make the mistake that would cost us three points. But you have to consider that all the other big teams are on a hot streak as well. The pressure is on everyone because if you lose even a single point you might have two or three teams catching you up or going away from you. It is the same if you keep winning."
Regarding those seven goals, the captain added: "When you look at the strikers we have, not scoring goals should never be a problem in your season. We are back on target and defending well. When you start a new year, it allows you to start a clean sheet and forget what has gone before."
City face an anxious wait to discover the severity of Sergio Agüero's hamstring injury, with no prognosis expected until Thursday afternoon at the earliest. The club's medical department want to wait for the swelling to go down before conducting a full examination.