Wigan could bear the brunt of a pent-up City team on Saturday according to Vincent Kompany.
The game will be the Blues' first since the chastening defeat in the FA Cup, and the versatile Belgian is convinced that the squad's work on the training pitch since will pay off against Steve Bruce's side.
"I think the way we’ve been working in the last 10 or so days now has been really outstanding," the 22 year-old asserts. "You could see a reaction of pride inside the team and after a very painful result the only thing that it does to the team was get us even closer together.
"At the moment the team that everyone in the football world is talking about is Manchester City, so you’ve got to be strong mentally as well to keep performing under this pressure, and that’s what brought us together. The fact that Wayne Bridge has come in now has given us the feeling that we are becoming stronger, and the Nottingham Forest result is just something that we can now leave behind us."
Vincent, signed from Hamburg SV in August, is aware of the intense scrutiny that the Club is under during the current transfer window, but he says the squad must use the possible arrival of new rivals for their places as motivation.
He adds, "From now on the Club is always going to be looking for the best players to come in in any position. So the fact that no one is protected forces you to perform every week and that’s the only way to make progression in the league, because it’s a tough league. Without confidence and without the right mentality it’s always a bit more difficult, so that’s the only way we’re going to get to where we want to be."
Wigan visit tomorrow on the back of a defeat at Old Trafford that ended a four-match winning streak, but Vincent thinks that despite the contrasting fortunes of the two sides of late, City can be confident going into the game.
"They are in fantastic form at the moment, but it would be a big mistake to think it’s a good time to come and play against Manchester City right now. There’s going to be a reaction from the players from what I can see in the training. The level and the standards are just better, and everybody knows how we can play when we are doing what we have to do – there’s no discussion about that.
"At home I know that if we are on a good day then the fans will enjoy the game and get one of those games they’ve had already this season when it was just a pleasure to come to the City of Manchester Stadium."
The defeat to Wigan at the JJB Stadium in September did have one bright moment for Vincent - his only goal so far for the Blues. Typically modest, he is not too bothered about whether he adds to his tally this week - as long as City come away with three points.
"Some other players can score, it’s no problem for me, as long as we win the game. It’s the only thing I’m looking for."