Kompany’s upbeat half-time report
- 03 January 2013 14:30
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Four and a half years and almost 150 starts into his City career, Vincent Kompany has been in English football long enough to know how quickly things can change.
As the Premier League champions pass the half-way stage of their title defence, the 26-year old revealed he’s not sweating the seven-point gap between the Manchester clubs at the table summit.
“If a couple of years ago we had we fallen seven points behind we would all have said to ourselves that it would be very difficult but now we have done it, nobody panics,” he explained.
“Everything is still possible. We have proved what we can do and everybody is very calm. That’s the advantage you get when you win it once.
“You have that inner confidence and, although the media and the fans can get excited, we don’t.”
City have faced accusations of suffering from a ‘title hangover’ this season, with the latest ammunition for critics arriving with the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
But the City captain is only interested in talking about the future, with eyes fixed even beyond this 2012/13 campaign.
“It is a big challenge but that doesn’t make it any less interesting,” the Belgian insisted.
“We have set our standards high and have worked hard for a long time to bring ourselves into this position.
“We are not going to let it slip now. When you have won the title, you aim for another one."
“That is not just the ambition for 2013 but for the future of the club.”
Against Norwich, City showed the resilience of champions to play for more than 45 minutes with 10 men and to withstand the home side’s barrage.
Against Stoke, Kompany’s team produced a performance of confidence and panache which strangled the life from a dangerous and well-organised visiting side.
“We have overcome what was the best defence in the league - it was not a given,” was Vincent’s verdict.
“If we carry on like this and have the whole our squad available things will turn especially because we are going to be playing one game a week.
“Even against Norwich we were calm. It was never easy but it never looked like we were going to make the mistake that would cost us three points.”
That 3-0 win over Stoke wrestled back the mantle of the Premier League’s stingiest defence from the Potters, rendering rumours of a potential weakness in City’s backline as greatly exaggerated.
“We have an unbelievable attitude at the back,” Kompany revealed, “I have been out with injury and the team has coped very well.
“He [Nastasic] has been brilliant, he is only 19 and the Premier League is one of the hardest competitions to be playing as a centre-half because there are so many different types of striker.
“He is not better than I thought. I expect anyone coming into this club to be a good player.”
Kompany also believes that City may need to better their 89 points total from last season if they want to lift the Premier League trophy again in May due to title rivals Manchester United’s devastating form.
“The reason we are not closer to United is not that we have been playing badly,” the FIFA World XI nominee declared, “We have only lost two games, which is not a bad record at this stage of the season.
“United are doing extremely well and, if they continue to play like they have been doing, it will be difficult.
“But we are perfectly capable of having a long, long winning streak that will bring us very close."
“It is a good challenge.”