Manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen for Manchester City to avoid a repeat of the "disaster" they experienced after they first won the Premier League.
During the 2012-13 season, after Roberto Mancini guided City to the crown, they finished a distant second to Manchester United.
On Sunday, the Citizens began their defence with a 2-0 win at Newcastle.
"This team won the title two years ago and the next season was a disaster," Pellegrini told BBC Radio 5 live.
"It wasn't a useful year for anyone. Last season Manchester United had a disaster [finished seventh] after winning the title.
"It's important from the beginning that we understand we won the title last season and need to win again this year."
Meanwhile, the Chilean manager said he has a stronger squad for the defence of the crown. City signed defender Eliaquim Mangala for about £32m, keeper Willy Caballero from his old club Malaga and Brazilian midfielder Fernando, who impressed on his league debut.
"It's very difficult to compare each year. Maybe last year a lot of people doubted we could win the title because it was my first season here in the Premier League," Pellegrini added.
"Today, we have one year more working with the players and we have a strong squad.
|Newcastle have won just once in the last six seasons in their opening match.||Silva's last four goals for Man City have all come away from home.|
|Aguero has scored 18 and assisted six goals in his last 24 league appearances.||No defending Premier League champions have ever lost their opening game of the following season.|
"You have five or six teams that can win the title, so we need the same attitude, the hunger with which we have started the season and the same humility in every game.
"I am sure this squad can fight, and we will see at the end of the season which titles we will win."
City's goals came from David Silva, just before half-time, and substitute Sergio Aguero in stoppage time.
Opposite number Alan Pardew handed competitive debuts to Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere. Substitutes Ayoze Perez, who was closest to scoring for his new club, and Rolando Aarons also made their first league appearances.
The Magpies boss was content with his team's performance at St James' Park.
"We have come up against individuals who we are not going to see every week," he said.
"When you play the top teams, you need a break - there's no doubt about that.
"Whenever I have won against the top sides, you get a break in the game and it didn't happen for us. We didn't get a ricochet or something that fell our way.
"But I am as pleased as I can be with a 2-0 defeat."