Nigel de Jong believes his performance against Chelsea was one of the best of his career.
The World Cup bound Dutch midfielder deservedly picked up the City fans’ man of the match award even if the television champagne went the way of Shay Given for his stupendous penalty stop.
De Jong, nicknamed ‘The Terrier’, showed just why he has earned that reputation as he quelled Frank Lampard and Michael Essien enabling the Blues move back up to sixth in the Premier League table and within touching distance of the Champions League places.
“We fought like lions out there,” reckoned de Jong upping the post match animal analogy to a new, more ferocious level.
The belief is there for all to see. We are a very good side. The biggest statement you can make is to beat the number one side in the table and that is what we did
...Nigel de Jong on win over Chelsea
“The fans were great, the team was great and the win capped a brilliant week for the club. That was as good a ninety minutes as I have played in my career and I am thrilled but credit has to go to all the team.
“The Premier League suits my style because it is so competitive. I used to be a much more attacking player but now I enjoy my more defensive role.”
“From Shay at the back, who is one of the best in Europe and was a great buy for this club, to Emmanuel Adebayor up front, who showed great character to bounce back from the own goal, the whole team was focussed and determined.”
De Jong and the rest of the side are now eyeing a top four slot though he admits that there are still obstacles in the way.
“The challenge now is to produce the kind of performance we had on Saturday against the lower ranked teams,” he asserted.
“We are still learning and we have to make sure our focus is right. Everyone is excited about the possibilities here. We are and the supporters are.
“The message is that we are not going away in that battle for the top four. The win over Chelsea lets everyone know just that.”