Captain Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City have the mentality of champions following their opening day fight back against Southampton.
• Aguero injury worries City
• City 3-2 Southampton
City came from behind after conceding two quick goals from Southampton substitutes Rickie Lambert and Steven Davies at the Etihad Stadium.
The 3-2 success was hard fought, and didn't show City at their best, but the three points could vital in the club's second consecutive title challenge.
"We have always proved to be very difficult to beat at home. Maybe we will just get belief out of this. Maybe that is why we always keep coming back and it never seems to be finished," Kompany told City TV.
"I don't even need to say it loudly. Last season proved how crucial it [team spirit] was for us, in the last games. We showed we wanted it as much. It doesn't matter if we have our best game or our worst game, we just keep going. As much as I can say we have a lot to improve on still, I can also say we can really all be happy because of great qualities of character.''
City didn't make it easy for themselves when a disappointing David Silva missed a first-half penalty, but the home side went into the break a goal to the good thanks to a Carlos Tevez strike.
The Saints then scored twice without reply, but they couldn't hold out as Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri netted to guarantee City an opening day win.
Kompany said: "If everything had gone to plan we would have scored two or three goals before they even got their first. We missed a few chances and they used the one opportunity they had very well and the game became very difficult, but I am very happy about the reaction of the team. That is what we needed to see. Therefore we are very happy with the win and the result. We have to respect Southampton, they played really well. It is a good result for us.''
Kompany also believes Carlos Tevez is just like a new signing. Indeed, with City anxiously awaiting news on the extent of Sergio Aguero's knee injury, Tevez could be a crucial figure in the defence of the Premier League.
"Carlos is recognised by everyone as one of the best strikers in the world,'' said Kompany. "People talk about new signings but having Carlos at his best level, which he wasn't last season because he was away for most of it, is just like one.
"I still say we have improved. If we were to lose Sergio, it would just go back to last season. Other players would have to step up and perform. They have always done that.''
Manager Roberto Mancini was happy to leave with the win after the earlier scare.
"We can't always do it like this. When we have a big chance like this, we can't take risks that might end up with us losing this game," the Italian claimed. "We played a bad game, we were not a team. We were 10 players that tried to score. We showed our character but we didn't play as a team.''
The major worry for City was an knee injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, who had to be stretchered off after ten minutes following a Nathaniel Clyne challenge.