Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that he was confident of landing the 2017-18 Premier League title when the Citizens beat reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in September.
Guardiola has claimed that his team's 1-0 win at Chelsea on September 30 'gave them the confidence' that they would be able to finish top of the pile come the end of the season.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss also said that City will be looking to become even "more consistent" next season as they attempt to defend their title.
"I think winning at Stamford Bridge gave us the confidence that we could do it. Because last season against other contenders we were not so good. We won few games," Guardiola told reporters. "Winning at Stamford Bridge gave us a feeling of, 'OK, against the last champions, we are able to come here and play.'
"But in general we were so, so stable. And OK, Sergio [Aguero] is a genius, a top player about 30 years old but the other guys are 20, 21 years old, so we won with guys so young. Playing in the Champions League at that age, sometimes it is complicated. But maybe it will be a lesson for the future for them and next season.
"Now we have to try [to get better]. If you read what the people say this week we have to improve. But you cannot deny that we were good this season. Every single day. To make 18 games in a row winning you have to be mentally strong. That is important to build up the club. It is important to believe because Manchester City is not like United or Chelsea or Arsenal – you know, the big clubs in England who have a big history behind them.
"You have to try to be more consistent next season. It will be more complicated but for the club, the players, all the departments in the club, the people can believe we are good: Manchester City is a good club."
City's first match as confirmed champions will be at home to relegation-threatened Swansea City this weekend.