Mark Hughes accepts the "edge has been taken off" Manchester City's early season promise by a run of one win in five league games.
Boss Hughes will want that statistic changed at Birmingham on Sunday when he expects to have Kolo Toure, Martin Petrov and Wayne Bridge back from minor injuries after all three missed the midweek Carling Cup win over Scunthorpe - with Craig Bellamy and Emmanuel Adebayor both rested.
Hughes said: "We have drawn the last three, and that has just taken the edge off our progress, but I think you have to view the first part of the season as a whole, and we are delighted with the start that we have made."
Only Nedum Onuoha and Robinho are still recovering from injuries, and both are close to a return.
Now Hughes hopes to take advantage of the fact last season's big four have already lost far more matches this term than expected.
Last season Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool lost 17 league games between them. This term that figure is already nine.
Hughes believes the top flight's unpredictability will continue. He said: "That seems to be how the early part of the season is panning out.
"What we are looking for is a consistent run of results. But one defeat in nine, I would suggest, is consistent form. We are in good shape, in a decent position and there is more to come from us. We know that."
But Hughes is aware his side must address their recent league form, but he is confident the squad is heading in the right direction.
He said: "Is our glass half full or half empty? I would say half-full. We are the only side that's only been beaten once in the Premier League. That is something to look back on."
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