Kolo Toure accepts everyone is waiting for Manchester City to fail - but insists the team remain determined to silence the critics.
City produced a composed collective display to beat bottom club West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park which moved Roberto Mancini's multi-million pound squad level on points with leaders Arsenal, who play Manchester United on Monday night.
"It is normal that everybody will criticise our team because we have so many big players now and the chairman has put in a lot of money," said the centre-back, signed from Arsenal in July 2009.
"Everybody's expecting City to be one of the best teams in this league and I think we need to agree on that.
"The only thing we need to do is just get the points and try to be one of the best teams in this Premier League."
Toure, who captained the side on Saturday, added: "When you feel the pressure you can offer your best.
"I think you can see that at the moment - everybody's waiting for our mistake and that gives us more strength because we don't want to be criticised by the newspapers or other teams."
Toure, though, knows there is plenty of football left to be played before any side lifts the trophy in May.
"The season is very long and there are hard games coming," the Ivory Coast defender said.
"At the moment we are doing well and we just need to think and take everything game-by-game and we will see at the end of the season how far we can go."