Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry is confident that he and his colleagues can cope with the pressure of defending their Premier League title next season.
The Citizens, 11/10 with bookmaker to be champions in 2012/13, won the title on goal difference last term and some pundits have suggested that they will find it even harder to try and win a second successive league crown.
Barry said: “I’m looking forward to the new season. Obviously it was a fantastic end last season and now there will be more pressure on the team.
“But to head into the new season as champions gives you a great deal of confidence and myself and the lads are looking forward to trying to retain the title.”
City open their title defence at home to newly-promoted Southampton on Sunday 19th August, with Barry facing a race to be fit for that game as he recovers from abdominal surgery.