'We must make home advantage count' says Sagna
- 05 February 2016 22:30
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
Bacary Sagna knows he and his team-mates will have their hands full on Saturday when Leicester visit the Etihad.
The Foxes have lost just one of their 15 games on the road stretching back to March last year this and are also the top scorers away from home this season with Jamie Vardy in particular catching the French defender’s eye in the meeting at the King Power Stadium just over a month ago.
“I was impressed with Vardy,” said Sagna. “It was the first time I’d played against him and the first thing I noticed was his ability to run – he’s really quick, has great desire and is doing a fantastic job for his team.
“He’s very clever with his movement and runs and the goal he scored against Liverpool in midweek was crazy and shows he can score goals from anywhere.
“He was playing in the lower leagues just a few years ago and I think he’s a great example for all players playing in Leagues 1 and 2 and to young kids in England that you should never stop believing and that if you work hard, anything is possible.
“Leicester are not a one-man team. They defend well and work hard for each other and they want to stay where they are at the top of the league. They were a Championship side just a couple of years ago but we will have to dictate the game and show our desire to be champions is even stronger.
“This game and Tottenham next week could be a turning point in our season and we have to make sure that it is a positive one - every game is going to be a battle from now on and we can’t afford to drop any points.
We are at home on Saturday and with our fans behind us, we have a big advantage
Sagna says City’s improvement in defence of late is down to better communication and a collective desire to defend better as a team.
The Blues’ back-line was under intense scrutiny towards the end of last year with injuries taking their toll, but with five clean sheets in the last seven games, it seems as though it’s business as usual again for a defence that has consistently been one of the best in the country for the past five years.
“We were concerned about the way were conceding goals and realised we needed to communicate better,” said Sagna.
“We needed to be more compact and defend as a team and I think we’ve been doing that much better over the past month or so.
“We know we will always create chances to score, so by being solid at the back means that even if we only get one real chance – as we did at Sunderland - if we defend well and keep a clean sheet we have a great chance of winning games."
Sagna has emerged as a surprise candidate for the player of the season award based on the campaign so far and puts his consistency down to playing regularly.
“Last season I didn’t get many chances to play and when I did, I didn’t have the match sharpness I needed, but I started this campaign well and things have gone well since there,” he said.
“During the close season, I knew that if I got my chance I needed to be ready for my club and give my best and with Pablo away with Argentina in the summer, I knew I would get my opportunity.
“Things have gone well so far but there is still a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead.”