Gareth Barry has admitted Manchester City must get off to a strong start in the new Premier League season following their summer spending spree.
Barry is one of seven new players brought to Eastlands by City boss Mark Hughes for a combined total in excess of £100million this summer.
The addition of players of the calibre of Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure has increased expectations in the blue half of Manchester and Barry has admitted the club cannot afford a slow start to the new campaign.
"We definitely need a good start," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"There will be extra pressure because we are creating all the headlines in the media.
"A decent start is a necessity for every club and more so for us this season.
"We have the players capable of mixing with the big teams who have dominated for so long.
"We have five or six big new players who might need time to gel, but we are capable of mixing it at the top and that is our ambition."
However, Barry insists City can not yet be considered genuine Premier League title challengers.
He added: "The title is probably a step too far this season.
"You need that togetherness before you start talking titles, but mixing it with the top four is something we will be trying to achieve."