Yaya Toure says he is ready to put his Africa Cup of Nations disappointment behind him and help launch Manchester City back into the title race.

The Ivory Coast international hasn't played for the Citizens since the start of January because of his involvement in the tournament in South Africa, but has returned early following the Elephants' early exit at the hands of Nigeria.

In Toure's absence Manchester United have further extended their lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table by two points, to put their advantage at nine points overall with 13 games of the season remaining.

Manchester City could only muster a 2-2 draw in their last league outing against Liverpool while Manchester United secured a 1-0 away win against Fulham - but Toure says he is back and raring to go ahead of City's next tie, a trip to St. Mary's to take on Southampton on Saturday.

"We are further behind than we'd like, of course, but all we need to do is think about last season to know what is possible," he told Manchester City's official website.

"My friends are all here and are happy to see me and we are like a family or brothers who will all fight together - and that is a very important thing to have.

"United have a strong squad and, on paper, they have an easier run in than we do but the title race is a long way from finished.

"It only takes a couple of results to go our way and we're right back in it - I'm sure we'll come back."

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