Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his team's title bid will speed up now, with several key players returning to the club from injuries and national duties.
He is also aware that the return of striker Carlos Tevez can add more firepower to his team's attack, which seemingly has lost the razzle-dazzle it displayed during the first four months of this year's season.
They will move into overdrive once Kolo and Yaya Toure return from the African Nations Cup this week.
"We know December and January were difficult months for us because we had players injured, players banned and players away," The Sun quoted Mancini, as saying.
He said that his team would be back to full strength by next week.
"Now we are in February and we are still on the top. I think next week we will have ALL the players back and this is very important for us," he said.
Mancini also confessed that local rivals Manchester United is still the better team in Manchester.
"To stay on the top with Manchester United and Tottenham, I think that we have to be very strong because United are still better than us."
"United have won everything in the last 10 years. Until we win the title, United are better," he said.
An atypical goal from Villa fan Joleon Lescott earned City a hard-fought but deserved win and once again took them to the summit of the League table, two points clear of United.