Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says his side will take lessons from seeing hopes of a Premier League title defence fade this season as he prepares to make his comeback from injury.
Kompany is fit again after two months on the sidelines with a calf injury and is expected to captain Belgium in their World Cup qualifier at home to Macedonia on Tuesday night.
When the centre-back limped off during City's 1-0 FA Cup win at Stoke on January 26, the reigning champions were only four points behind in the title race but they now sit 15 points adrift of fierce local rivals Manchester United with eight games remaining.
Kompany told Sky Sports: "You always want to go for the titles and you always want to go for the top. I've experienced it in the same way as every other player. I've wanted our team to do well.
"In football, ultimately, you always have to have a winner and a loser so I think that we'll learn from what happened there and we'll grow stronger again. We still have a good run in the FA Cup."
City will also be aware that Chelsea and Tottenham are only four and five points behind respectively but Kompany insists they are not looking behind.
He added: "I'm not looking too much. I know it's clichéd, but I think we should focus on our own qualities and just look at every game and say, ok we've got a chance to win this one, so let's do it. That should be our only aim."
Kompany is feeling in good shape and is eager to return to action as he prepares to make his comeback against Macedonia.
He said: "I feel great, I feel really good. I've put in some hard work over the last eight weeks and I'm just very happy to be back with the team.
"It's been frustrating but it's something you have to deal with as a professional football player. I've been through a lot worse than this so for me it was just a case of working really hard and making sure that I was able to be there for my team again - for my national team and for my club, Manchester City.
"My only ambition was to make myself available again to the manager of the national team and the manager of Manchester City. I've worked really hard. I just want to perform really quickly and really well."