Best is yet to come – Toure

The 28-year-old has been part of a City backline that has been

questioned by many after numerous shaky displays this term. The

defender joined City from Arsenal in the summer for

£16million with many, including Manchester United

manager Sir Alex Ferguson, backing Gunners boss Arsene Wenger’s

judgement for selling the centre-half at the right time. Even

former Arsenal team-mate Lee Dixon stated that Toure had ‘lost some

of his athleticism’, but the Ivory Coast international is focused

on proving his detractors wrong. “I respect all my critics but

there are always ups and downs,” he told the News of the World.

“Ferguson should remember that he suffered bad times in his career

as well. I had periods when I was at the very top of my game and

now I have to work hard to get back there. “The most important

thing is to realise when you are having difficulty. I strongly

believe that at the age of 28, my best is yet to come. “When I hear

critics like Ferguson and Lee Dixon, who I learned so much from at

Arsenal, it makes me play harder and work harder to prove them

wrong. “At the moment it’s a great challenge to come to a lower

club and help make them big. “I stayed at Arsenal for too long and,

when you do that, everything becomes a habit. Every day is the

same. You become like the marble of the furniture in the house.

“And sometimes the importance of the furniture isn’t always

noticed. I became very relaxed and I lost my focus and my

sharpness. “Now at City there is a new expectation and pressure and

it’s so exciting.” Toure went someway to silencing his critics

after a stellar performance in the 2-1 win over Chelsea last

weekend, keeping Didier Drogba quiet for most of the match, but the

stopper knows City need to perform like that every week if they are

to fulfil their potential. “I am teaching other players that we

have to play as we did against Chelsea for 38 games. We have to

beat the teams we are expected to beat,” he added. “That’s what it

takes to be champions. You have to forget yesterday. I talk about

preparation – I tell them to take care of what they eat, how much

they sleep, how much water they drink, how well they take care of

their bodies. “They have to realise that it’s not just about what

you deliver on the pitch, it’s the commitment you show off it.

That’s what the top players do – that’s why they are at the top.”