English Premiership

City not surrendering

2015-03-20 08:03
Vincent Kompany (Supplied)

Manchester - Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insists his side have not completely written off the rest of the season ahead of their clash with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

City were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona on Wednesday after a 1-0 last 16 second leg loss at the Nou Camp which saw them exit the competition 3-1 on aggregate.

Manuel Pellegrini's team are also trailing six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea as they prepare for Saturday's match at Eastlands.

Chelsea also have a game in hand on City, making them firm title favourites, but even though the odds are stacked against the reigning champions, Belgian defender Kompany refuses to give up hope of a late charge to retain the trophy.

"Forget about Chelsea. For us, to ourselves, we owe it to ourselves, to our fans to have a good end to this campaign," he said.

"Then again if we finish this campaign as good as we can, maybe there is still something in it.

"We will have to see. It is not in our hands by any means, but we just have to go back and work hard and improve."

City host Albion looking to put their disappointing exit to Barcelona behind them.

And England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who produced a superb man-of-the-match performance against the Spanish giants, insists City's players will be able to concentrate on the task in hand against West Brom.

"We've got to refocus. There are going to be tired people but we've got a fantastic squad here," he said.

"Stevan Jovetic didn't even make our smaller European squad so we're ready, we're going to have bodies ready. I'm certainly going to be ready.

"That's the club that we are now, our sole purpose is the Premier League and we're going to show that on Saturday."

Pellegrini has no fresh injury concerns and former Swansea striker Wilfried Bony is expected to be given a chance to start in attack.

West Brom are eight points clear of the relegation zone following last weekend's win over Stoke, however captain Darren Fletcher says no one at The Hawthorns is taking survival for granted yet.

And the former Manchester United player insists moving a step closer to that aim is more important to him than dealing another blow to the title chances of his old club's local rivals.

"Maybe I'll be singled out for a bit more criticism without the United lads around me," Fletcher said of his return to the home of United's hated neighbours.

"But I don't see it as denting their title hopes. I see it as getting West Brom safe, I have great respect for City and people around Manchester.

"There's a rivalry with United, but my focus is on West Brom. We'll go there to win, we know it'll be difficult but we pride ourselves on keeping clean sheets.

"We work hard as a team so we'll go to City and give it a go. Why not? We'll go with a mentality to win.

"But it's a fantastic place to go and play against a top class side with great players - that's where you want to challenge yourself as an individual and as a team."

The Baggies are certain to be without first-choice goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has been ruled out for at least a month with a knee injury, so Boaz Myhill will deputise.



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