Fernandinho: We must seize the moment
- 01 May 2014 08:06
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Four clubs have tried on the “champions elect” tag so far this season but only one will wear the crown come 5pm on Sunday 11 May.
Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Liverpool have all planted flags at the Barclays Premier League summit over the last nine months, though none of them have stood erect for long.
With just over one week to go in this ever-unpredictable title race, Fernandinho has detected a shift in the mood in the dressing room around him since Sunday’s high drama on Merseyside and in South London.
All of a sudden, the Brazilian and his colleagues sense an opportunity that they dare not pass up, though the City no.25 acknowledges that the next 11 days won’t be easy.
Following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Liverpool and City’s victory away at Crystal Palace, Manuel Pellegrini’s men know that destiny is back in their own hands but, as Fernandinho’s longer-serving teammates will attest to, no trip to Goodison Park is ever to be taken lightly.
“We are back with a big chance of being champions again, we are not depending on other teams – it only depends on us, and that has changed a lot,” Fernandinho told mcfc.co.uk.
“It gives you energy because mentality is 70 per cent of your body, and a result like that changes everything – your mind, your motivation.
“When your head is good, your body is good as well."
“It's a massive game for both teams. We are trying to keep fighting for the title and need to play to win the game, which hopefully we can do.
“They are at home in front of their fans, and they are always good at home. The atmosphere is also good there, and they will play with a lot of intensity – we have to be ready for that. It will be a very tough game.
“We will need to play our best football, in the way we have played for the last month. We cannot change, we have our style and we don't need to change, whether we are at home or away.”
Nine points from the three remaining games should do it for the popular midfielder and company, providing Liverpool don’t blow Crystal Palace and Newcastle away with incredible, goal difference-swelling wins in their last two games.
Fernandinho is well aware that the pressure is now all on City to perform and obtain the results expected of them to claim a second title in three years.
“The pressure was always on our side because we are a big team with big players and our target was always the Premier League title,” the Londrina-born man said.
“We have to play with passion to win every game, and this next one is no different.
“We want to win the game, and the last two are at home, and hopefully we can win all three, and take nine points."
“That is difficult but we will try to do it. We have waited a long time for this moment, and the positivity of the group is now very high. I think we will get better and better until the last game, and then we must see what happens at the end of the season.
“It would be amazing, fantastic for me to win the title in my first season in Premier League, and that is why I want to win these three games.
“[With the Brazil World Cup squad also being announced] Next week could be the best week in my professional life, so I need to keep calm and keep working, and wait for the moment.”
It had looked like the chance to win the title had slipped through City’s fingers when they could only manage a draw against Sunderland at the Etihad in April.
But as Fernandinho points out that the point salvaged by Samir Nasri’s late equaliser could turn out to be every bit as important as the three gained in the win over Palace.
He added: “At that time the most important thing was to win the game, but if you look at it now, maybe that point against Sunderland at home could make all the difference in future - we will see.”