London: Manchester City star Yaya Toure has insisted criticism of his performances won`t distract him from concentrating on helping the champions overhaul leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race.
Ivory Coast midfielder Toure scored the opening goal with a typical 20-yard strike as City leapfrogged Southampton into second place with a 3-0 win at the Saints` St Mary`s Stadium on Sunday.
City are now six points adrift of Chelsea heading into their trip to Sunderland on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Toure has had a difficult few months, including having to cope with the death of his brother, but he is now focused solely on football.
"For me the most important thing is I try to do my best for the team," said Toure. "Sometimes people are not thinking we are human beings, people are always trying to criticise you even though you are a human being.
"So I never think about those things, I always try to focus on my team."
He added: "The Premier League is important, and whenever we lose we will get criticised.
"But we`ve just got to fight until the end; our squad is fantastic and we know exactly how to fight all the way in this league.
"Teams will always step up their game against us and we know we`ve got to try to keep pace with Chelsea."
City will head to the north-east to face a Sunderland side fresh from holding Chelsea to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light last weekend.
"Wednesday will be tough, we have always been unlucky at the Stadium of Light," said Toure.
"They are very compact, strong at the back and have a great counter-attack, and we know our old team-mate (Adam) Johnson will come at us very well."
Having struggled during the latter half of October and beginning of November -- they were beaten at home by CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and Newcastle in the League Cup while they lost away to West Ham and drew at QPR in the league -- City have picked up recently with three straight wins.
"Three or four games winning in a row is very good for confidence," added Toure.
"It was a fantastic result for us (at Southampton), they`ve been scoring a lot of goals at home.
"We showed fantastic work as a group, realising that we need to work hard when we don`t have the ball, realising that we have to be good defensively to win games like that."