Fernando relishing derby intensity
- 18 March 2016 21:56
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc/@timoscroft
Fernando knows exactly how much is at stake when City face Manchester United in the derby this Sunday.
The Brazilian first sampled the unique atmosphere of the Manchester derby in the Blues' 1-0 win at home in November 2014, having moved to the club from Porto earlier that year.
“This is a huge game for both teams," states the 28-year-old. "Even though I’ve played in derbies in Brazil, the closest I probably came to the Manchester derby was when Porto played Benfica.
"You have to respect a fixture like this because of its history and what it means to the fans, the city and the players, but ultimately it’s a game you have to win."
The memory of that first derby remains strong for the midfielder, who's had the time to see and hear what the fixture means to people around the city.
"It was a good match and, of course, that much better because we won,” he smiles.
“It was good for us and it goes without saying I hope we can replicate the victory. Whenever I have come across any of our supporters, they’ve all let us know that they want us to win. They want us to win and be top dogs in Manchester so there is much more than just points at stake.
"There is local pride and bragging rights and we want our fans to have those when the referee blows the final whistle on Sunday afternoon."
And the ex-Porto man also knows how important the role of the City fans will be on Sunday
“Our fans can be our twelfth man and because we are at home, they can lift us when we really need it. They can give us that extra motivation to get over the line sometimes and I hope they are in great voice on Sunday because it makes a huge difference.”