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Happy days on the horizon says SWP

Shaun Wright-Phillips is backing the Blues to make their Premier League challenge with a smile on their faces despite the great expectations now focused on Mark Hughes' City revolution.

Hughes is relaxed about the season ahead after constructing a squad that SWP believes is not just prime top six material but might also be in with a shout of a Champions League berth ahead of schedule.

Laidback Shaun, who returned from Chelsea last year to kick-start the manager's recruitment drive, insists a bright outlook on the pitch will pay dividends and prevent anxiety hampering the team's progress.

He said: "I am a great believer that although there is pressure around, the majority of pressure is put on yourself. If we go out and play the way we know we can, we will do fine.

"As long as we enjoy it, the pressure will be non-existent. I play the game with a smile on my face - you naturally play the way you want to play, and the gaffer wants you to play. You forget about the pressure.

"We want to win as many games as possible. At home, people will be more scared of us than we are of them. Now we have a load of new players, it has upped the standards of the team. We are a force to be reckoned with.

"I came back to try and help the club achieve things, to win something. It is what I did in my first spell. Now more players are coming in, it’s become more likely that I thought. Everybody here is excited.

"He is forming a team now where the players are used to winning. That mentality rubs off. If you let in a goal, you don’t sink into your shell, you come out even harder and put people on the back foot, home or away.

"The thing we lacked last year to be in the top six was our away form, and we started to correct that towards the end. Once we get the away form right, there is nothing stopping us really."

Hughes is not demanding a title challenge, but SWP added: "If we put our heads down, you never know. We have fewer games not being in Europe. We can concentrate on domestic stuff and are likely to stay a lot fitter.

"I believe we have what it takes to win the title at some point. But that takes consistency, and being able to win when you’re not playing well. Last year, particularly away, if we weren’t playing well we couldn’t grind a result out. We're learning you have to grit in sometimes."

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