Monday, 18 January 2010

Predictable pre-derby chat

City fans know how big tomorrow's game is. We don't need the players to tell us. What we do need is the players to play well. But like any day before a derby you can't move but for a City player telling us just how much this means to them. First Micah Richards:

“It doesn’t get any bigger than United in the cup,” declared the defender. “I have played in quite a few derby matches now but you never quite get used to the atmosphere and the intensity and Tuesday’s game will probably go up another notch in that respect...

Whatever eleven they put out we know they will desperately want to beat us and I can assure all our fans that we will be feeling exactly the same. It is certainly extra special to win a derby.

“This club has not won a knockout trophy for a long time – as people keep tending to remind us – it is time we put that right. I want to be part of team that creates a bit of history and so do all the other lads here."

Then Vincent Kompany:

"We are definitely as excited as the fans, but one thing they can do for us is make the place a Blue hell tomorrow - if they do that, we will take care of the rest," said Kompany.

"The Everton fans were great on Saturday, and pushed their team forward, so if our fans can do the same against United - which I am sure they will - we will be a stronger team.

"We will be super-motivated for this game, and it has all the ingredients for us to have a very good first leg...

"One thing I can guarantee is that the players are hungry and ready, and we just want to go out and play well.

And then, of course, Nigel de Jong:

"But it is a semi-final and they are playing a derby against their biggest rivals, and we'll only see what he's thinking when we see who's on the pitch on the day.

"It's a semi-final, one of the biggest games for City in a few years, so we have to do our best to reach the final whoever it is we play against.

"People still talk about what happened at Old Trafford in the League, but that game is in the past, we don't want to keep looking back. This is a new game. We want to look to the future."

Look, I'm pleased that the players are motivated for this game. And don't get me wrong, Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong are two of my favourites. But before every single derby they come out with this sort of thing. Between the two of them they've put in four derby performances - Kompany in the dismal loss at CoMS last season, both in the 2-0 loss at OT last may, and de Jong in the 4-3. And I'm afraid to say that they're 0 for 4. At least Micah Richards has actually played well in a derby once before, even if it was in August 2007.

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