Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Yaya Toure is in prime form and earning reward for his hard work in training.
Toure's fine start to the season continued as he struck his fifth goal in seven games in a 5-0 Capital One Cup thrashing of Championship side Wigan at the Etihad Stadium.
It came direct from a free-kick in almost identical fashion to the midfielder's set-piece strikes against Newcastle and Hull last month.
In addition the Ivorian scored a fine long-range effort against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League a week ago and added another from inside the box in last Sunday's derby destruction of Manchester United.
Toure, 30, was not at his most influential as City mounted an underwhelming title challenge last season but he appears revitalised as Pellegrini's input starts to take hold.
Pellegrini said: "He is a very important player for the team.
"I don't know what happened last year but all the players are playing with trust and a goal always give them trust. I think it is very important.
"We are always practising. Yaya stays normally, kicking the ball after we finish the daily work.
"He is really in a good moment (of form) also, (although) it is not normal for someone always (to be) scoring free-kicks."
Toure had been introduced as a second-half substitute for Fernandinho, who had been the only starter from the 4-1 win over United to have been retained in the side.