Yaya Toure confident Manchester City can catch Manchester United in the Premier League

Champions currently trail rivals by nine points

Manchester City talisman Yaya Toure is confident the champions can pull themselves back into the Barclays Premier League title race.

Toure and his brother Kolo, the defender, are now back at City after a month away playing in the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.

Roberto Mancini's men have been unbeaten in their absence but draws in the last two fixtures against QPR and Liverpool have seen them slip nine points behind Manchester United at the top of the table.

After memorably recovering from an eight-point deficit to win the title last season with six matches remaining, Toure is sure there is enough time for City to turn it round again with 13 still to play.

The midfielder told the club's website, http://www.mcfc.co.uk: "We are further behind than we'd like, of course, but all we need to do is think about last season to know what is possible.

"My friends are all here and are happy to see me and we are like a family or brothers who will all fight together - and that is a very important thing to have.

"United have a strong squad and, on paper, they have an easier run in than we do but the title race is a long way from finished.

"It only takes a couple of results to go our way and we're right back in it - I'm sure we'll come back."

City travel to Southampton on Saturday hoping to cut the gap to seven points ahead of United's clash with Everton on Sunday.

The return of the Toures gives City a timely lift in two areas of the field.

Yaya's dynamism in midfield has been missed, particularly in the past week, while Kolo will increase defensive options.

City have been short at the back with influential captain Vincent Kompany having missed the past two games with a calf strain.

Kompany has not definitively been ruled out of the trip to St Mary's Stadium but Mancini has said it is likely the Belgian will be out until after next week's FA Cup fifth-round clash against Leeds.

PA

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss