Kolo Toure is looking further ahead than the mouth-watering end-of-season battle to secure a Champions League spot, and the buoyant Blues skipper likes what he sees.
Captain Kolo believes the quality of the youngsters stepping into Roberto Mancini's squad, and the spirit that unites the dressing-room, will allow the manager to build on this season.
He said: "When you think of such as Dedryck Boyata, Abdi Ibrahim and Greg Cunningham coming through, plus Adam Johnson signing in the transfer window, the future looks bright.
"We have a lot of good people here who really want to work for the club and believe in the club. From the manager down, we are all determined to take this club as far as we can.
"But it won't be easy. Success doesn't just come like that - you have to go through some hard times, and that's when you have to be strong and stick together, to fight for each other."
Toure insists the higher expectations that accompany City's ambition to join the Euro elite will present no extra pressure as Mancini's players prepare for the final push.
He said: "High expectations are normal. With the players we have now, we expect to be up at the top. But we know that, to show the world we have a good team, we need the results.
"You have to try and lift yourselves as high as you can - we want to be really high and one of the best clubs in the country, but we know we will have to fight to get there."
As City gear up after a blank weekend to resume the top-four bid at Sunderland on Sunday, Kolo confessed: "We've had some good performances but we have lost silly points.
"We haven't always killed the game off when we should - but that's the process of learning, and we hope not to make the same mistakes in the future.
"Sometimes you don't have the luck, like against Stoke - we had our chances and missed them, they had half-chances and scored. But that's part of the game, that's life."