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Toure confident of City title chase

Press Association logoPress Association 27/12/2016

Yaya Toure says the excitement of rejoining Manchester City's title challenge has made him feel like a child again.

Toure, frozen out by Pep Guardiola earlier in the season and seemingly heading towards an inglorious City exit, has gone from being neglected to almost unstoppable in the space of six weeks.

Surprisingly brought back from the cold by Guardiola after the resolution of a row with his agent in November, Toure has regained his old place at the heart of City's midfield engine room.

He delivered his latest impressive display as City overcame Hull 3-0 at the KCOM Stadium on Boxing Day to stay seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

"I look like a kid, just enjoying playing football and helping my teammates and the fans. It's very important to me," Toure said of his return to prominence.

"I'm used to winning Premier Leagues, and I think it's second two times, and I want to win another.

"I know it's going to be tough but we have to keep going because Chelsea are very good this year."

City could not afford to drop points after Chelsea won earlier in the day. They made hard work of the task against a resilient Hull, who defied their status as the league's bottom side, but eventually prevailed in the latter stages.

Toure broke the deadlock with a 72nd-minute penalty after Andy Robertson felled Raheem Sterling. Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho quickly added a second and the visitors gained a flattering third in injury time when Curtis Davies turned a Sterling cross into his own net.

Kevin De Bruyne earlier hit the post but Hull successfully absorbed a lot of pressure and went close to taking the lead themselves when Michael Dawson forced Bacary Sagna to clear off the line.

Hull have won just one league game since August but Toure does not think they should lose heart.

"That's why it's the toughest league in the world, because when you see how they played, they made it very difficult," he said.

"They don't deserve to be at the bottom. All teams that come here are going to suffer. Sometimes when you lose a game, mentally you are not right, but I think after one game they are going to be all right."

City next face another of their title rivals in Liverpool at Anfield on New Year's Eve and Toure knows what that match means to both side's title chances.

"For me it's almost a 'final' of the Premier League because I think it's going to be a similar kind of football. I think for the fans it's going to be fantastic."

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