Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says most of the players are "immune" to the Carlos Tevez saga ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester United.
Tevez is due to be charged for refusing to warm up against Bayern Munich after being suspended since 28 September.
But Kompany, 25, told Football Focus: "The most important thing is that we have a strong squad and strong unity.
"I think I prefer it much more to be captain of a team with a lot of opinions and strong characters."
The Belgian defender added: "Even though they will tell you what's true, they will also help you."
Despite the on-going disciplinary process against Tevez, the new Premier League leaders are in good shape heading into the 161st derby, at Old Trafford.
An injury-time victory over Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday followed a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa last Saturday.
And Kompany, who took over the captain's armband from Tevez at the start of the season, is growing accustomed to the controversies that tend to swirl around Etihad Stadium.
"You get used to it. I feel most of us are immune," he admitted. "A lot of things have happened at this club. No team in the world has had so many special events in the past three-and-a-half years.
"Everything that happens outside is a big theatre but ultimately for us the most important thing is to stay focused on what we do on the pitch."
United surrendered top spot after being held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool at Anfield last Saturday, a match described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the biggest in world football.
The United boss also pointedly failed to mention City when he said United had already faced the three biggest sides in the Premier League this season - Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
But defeat this weekend would see Ferguson's side fall five points behind their local rivals and Kompany believes it is United who are under the most pressure.
"There's never a really bad time or good time for the derby although the game might be more important for United than for us this time," he said.