English Premiership

Kompany relaxed over title race

2015-02-06 07:56
Vincent Kompany (File)

Manchester - Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes the champions' recent experience can help them claw back Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Second-placed City will kick-off their match against Hull at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday five points behind Chelsea, who are in action at the same time away to Aston Villa.

Manuel Pellegrini's men were a point behind Liverpool with two matches left last season but still won the title.

And City were eight points behind Manchester United with six matches remaining before lifting the Premier League trophy on the final day of the 2011/12 season under former manager Roberto Mancini.

"This is just such a usual situation for us," said Belgium central defender Kompany, who was a key figure in both title triumphs.

"Five points behind in January or February -- big deal.

"We feel very comfortable being in that position. We have been in it many times before."

Kompany added: "We don't get over excited, we don't get over confident or too desperate.

"I can't remember ever leading. I would love to be 20 points clear but it is what it is."

With United's dominance fading in the past two seasons, Chelsea have emerged as City's main title rivals.

United have struggled since the departure of manager Alex Ferguson in 2013 and neither of his successors, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, have been able to keep the Red Devils in contention for the title.

"Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson, were always a force to be reckoned with," Kompany said.

"Winning the title when Ferguson was still in charge was a big thing because United were still a dominant force.

"But I think Chelsea now, they look solid, look like they know what they are doing, they have a lot of experience and lot of great players but we have that too."

City have failed to win their last four matches in all competitions.

However, they could be boosted by the return to fitness of winger Samir Nasri.

The France star was back in training this week after recovering from a groin strain that has kept him out of action since January 10.

Hull have lost their last four matches in all competitions and are third-bottom in the Premier League, with defender Andrew Robertson suggesting any points they acquired at the Etihad would be a bonus in their battle against relegation.

"We have Man City away and it doesn't get much harder than that but it is our home form that has not been good enough and we have to pick that up in the run-in if we want to stay in this league," Robertson said.

"We have all got to still believe that the squad is strong enough and that is what the boys are doing."

Hull will be without long-term injury absentees, Robert Snodgrass, James Chester, Liam Rosenior and Mohamed Diame, while new signing Dame N'Doye is not expected to be available.

N'Doye joined Hull for $4.6 million from Lokomotiv Moscow on Monday but is still awaiting documentation allowing him to play.


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