Fernando relishing first derby clash
- 31 October 2014 10:00
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Brazilian midfielder Fernando is preparing himself for the prospect of competing in his first Manchester derby.
The 27-year-old, who joined City in the summer, is relishing the chance to experience a clash between the two feisty neighbours and is desperate to play his part in what is expected to be another thrilling encounter.
The former Porto star thoroughly understands the importance of the battle and hopes to repay the City faithful with a victory over their closest rivals, revealing the players also feel the excitement as kick-off draws nearer.
Having secured maximum points in their last three games against United, Manuel Pellegrini's side are predicted to notch a fourth successive win on Sunday - but Fernando insists it will not be an easy task.
"We know that every time we talk about a derby, there is always a high expectation," he declared. "We always feel the butterflies in our stomach.
"The atmosphere is always that of expectation and there are some nerves. I can't wait for the game to start.
"This will be my first derby and I hope we can win. There is a big competition here.
"It means a lot to the fans; therefore we know we must win it for them so we will do our very best to reward them with a victory."
Fernando, who had been linked with both Manchester clubs in the summer and has already spoken of his happiness at the Etihad Stadium, is fully aware of the threat the Old Trafford outfit pose.
Although City are heading into Sunday's game as favourites, the midfielder has warned against any hint of complacency towards Louis van Gaal's side.
"United are going through a difficult time recently but that can happen to any team," he cautioned. "They have good players.
"We know the quality they have, the new players they have bought and the challenges we will have to face when we play against them."
Fernando is familiar with City's neighbours, having acquired his title of 'the Octopus' in a Champions League quarter-final clash against the Reds back in 2009.
The Brazilian was hailed following an impressive display, as throughout the contest, he worked tirelessly to dispossess the opposition on a number of occasions, prompting the comment it was as if he had 'extra legs'.
Understandably, the midfielder has fond memories of the game in which he wrote a 'nickname' for himself and hopes to put in a similar performance on Sunday.
"I received that nickname while I was a player at Porto," he recalled. "It was during a game against United.
"I tackled [Wayne] Rooney and [Cristiano] Ronaldo a lot. The fans saw what I was doing and gave me that nickname.
"They said it was like I had so many legs. Octopus has stuck ever since. I don't mind - I get the same thrill from stopping a goal as strikers do from scoring.
"Hopefully, I will perform a good game again if I am selected."
City v CSKA
The night will belong to us when City face CSKA Moscow on Wednesday 5 November in the UEFA Champions League.
CSKA Moscow fans are not permitted to attend this fixture so we will have the entire Etihad Stadium available for home supporters only.
To celebrate this rare opportunity to pack both ends of the stadium with home supporters, fans who buy one ticket will receive an additional ticket completely free. This offer applies to fans who have already bought tickets for this match, and those looking to buy a ticket now.