Kompany bullish on title defence ahead of Toon test
- 15 August 2014 11:26
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
It remains to be seen whether he’ll be ready to play on Sunday but the club captain has delivered a bald message to City’s title rivals.
World Cup-contesting latecomers to pre-season may have disrupted Manuel Pellegrini’s preparations for the new campaign but Vincent Kompany believes that the Barclays Premier League champions have learned lessons from their last title defence season.
In 2012/13, City were unable to recapture their crown after the highs of the previous season but the 28-year old is reassured by the mentality he’s found on his return to the dressing room after his summer break.
It’s all boding well for the trip to Tyneside on Sunday afternoon, according to the Belgian skipper.
“I can tell you that mentally we are roaring for the new season,” he said.
“All of us are ready. We are hungry for competition. Physically, there is a question mark. We [the World Cup players] have not had a single minute in a friendly. We are just training.
“Really our fitness will be put to the test in the Newcastle game - if we get through this what a great message it will be to the rest of the league of our resilience to continue on what we built last year.
“When it comes to retaining it, partially it’s a mental thing but at the same time you get experience and you learn."
“In this case I feel there are a lot of red flags, alarm signals from last time, we have to be really careful not to fall into complacency. I’m pretty confident that’s not going to happen and, at the same time, you have to look forward and not so much back.
"Last time everything was new, whereas this time we know what to look out for and what not to do but also we know what to do so it increases our confidence.
“At the same time it's the Premier League and the reason why everybody watches it is because they know it is impossible for us to say we are going to win it because there are five or six teams who should have that intention.”
One thing is for sure, City’s credentials will be put through a thorough examination right from the get-go.
The champions’ first five games are against teams who finished in the top ten last season and they meet their fellow UEFA Champions League qualifiers in their opening four games.
Kompany, whose new five-year contract was announced on Wednesday, admits that the fixtures are not in the order that he might have chosen for the team but takes an optimistic view on the chances of a positive start.
“I don’t think it’s ideal that so many players were away so long and now have to fit into the team,” he admitted.
“It’s never a good thing to start the season with that many hard fixtures when players have not had a full pre-season.
“But sometimes you become stronger in adversity and I’m fully confident our team can do that and if we can, it will make it so much better - so much more enjoyable.
“I’m looking forward to it - we don’t really know how we will go - but it could be better than we think.”
Their captain has enjoyed positive first impressions on the new boys and believes that they all have something to contribute over the next ten months.
He’s also excited by the contract renewals of some of his fellow key players, which have been announced throughout a great summer for supporters.
“I was surprised with the athleticism of Frank Lampard at his age,” added the Belgian. “He looks to me like he’s in his best form - he’s unbelievable in training.
“The new players look like they are ready for the challenge and are ambitious to win things and that’s what we need."
“Our goal is to win the Premier League again. We’ve worked really hard to get to this level, so we’re going to make sure we maintain that. We want to keep the badge on the side of our shirts for a bit longer.
“As for the renewals, the main thing is not just so much that I’ve signed but I see David Silva, Samir Nasri, Aleksandar Kolarov, and not so long ago Yaya Touré signing and it’s a huge sign of commitment.
“All of those players could have played for the top three clubs in the world and they decided to believe in City.
“I don’t see any club which has as much ambition as us for the future. I don’t see any club who can honestly say every season they are going to compete for as many trophies as we are.’’
Vincent on his contract renewal
We’ll have our usual build-up and match day coverage of City’s encounter with Newcastle here on mcfc.co.uk and across our social channels, live from St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.