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.
However, the performance which looked to have cast aside criticism over disharmony in the dressing room was overshadowed by the news star striker Carlos Tevez has handed in a written transfer request, which has been rejected by the club.
The Argentina striker had a touchline bust-up with Mancini at the end of the win over Bolton at Eastlands, but did not face his former club on Sunday because of a suspension and is said to want to return to his homeland for family reasons.
Earlier in the season, Mario Balotelli was involved in a training-ground fracas with City team-mate Jerome Boateng, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Vincent Kompany had an on-field row during the defeat by Wolves. Toure, though, insists City are united in their ambitions.
"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."