Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City are back in the groove after revitalising their title challenge with a comprehensive defeat of Aston Villa.
City thrashed the Barclays Premier League's bottom side 4-0 on Saturday to move within two points of third-placed Arsenal with a game in hand.
It was a much-needed victory after a poor performance at Liverpool on Wednesday saw City slump to a third successive league defeat.
But Kompany felt those bare statistics were not a true measure of form as City also won the Capital One Cup and claimed a notable Champions League win at Dynamo Kiev in that time.
Kompany said: "It's been an awkward week but if you actually look at the last four games we've won three of them. They were over different competitions.
"For the whole team it's now important to get to the level we showed here.
"Actually in the last four games we've shown three times that we can achieve a very good level of play. That's what we've got to maintain from now until the end of the season."
City were far too strong for a seemingly doomed Villa side, for whom defeat was a 19th of a dismal campaign. City were frustrated in the first half but the floodgates opened after Yaya Toure found a way to open the scoring after 48 minutes.
Three more goals followed in the next 18 minutes as Sergio Aguero struck twice to take his tally for the season to 21 and substitute Raheem Sterling tapped in. It might have been even better had Aguero not hit a 73rd-minute penalty against the post.
Kompany said: "It took us a while to break them down but once we did we had the goal difference in mind. We couldn't have hoped for a better day.
"We had to stay patient. We had some good chances early in the first half but they were really tight and difficult to break down. As soon as we did score it made it a little bit easier to create more chances."
City remain 10 points behind leaders Leicester but their extra game offers reason for optimism and the club hope they can now mount a late charge similar to those that proved so successful in 2012 and 2014.
Right-back Bacary Sagna said: "This team has done it before so why not. We have all the players and all the quality required.
"It's important to win all our games now to stay in the competition to win the league. We are confident - of course it's going to be difficult."
The mood contrasts sharply with that at Villa, whose apparently tortuous procession towards relegation continued.
The only upside was that of their chief rivals at the bottom, only Sunderland managed to claim a point while Newcastle and Norwich lost elsewhere.
But they remain nine points off safety and the team look increasingly resigned to their fate.
Manager Remi Garde, however, insists he is not ready to accept that and is determined to fight on.
The former Arsenal defender said: "Of course I am focused on this season - I'm not crazy, we've got nine games to play. Mathematically everything is still possible for everybody in the league.
"It's not at all the time to talk about next season for anybody in the club - players or myself."