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No easy games are fine for Nigel

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong has confessed that he loves the nip-and-tuck nature of English football as City prepare for more of the same in Tuesday's FA Cup replay with Leicester.

This week will see the second anniversary of the combative Dutchman's arrival at the club, during which time his no-nonsense approach has seen him become a firm favourite with City's fans.

The clash with Leicester, and last Saturday's league encounter with Wolves, may be the games that on paper City are expected to deal with comfortably, but the 26-year-old likes the fact that nothing can be taken for granted.

“I think it makes English football unique. The Premier League has developed in the last two years to be not just about the first five teams .

“You can see that the 'smaller' teams, with all due respect, are real contenders these days. Wolves and all the other teams at the bottom of the league can give you real difficulties.

 

That makes the league really exciting. We have seen this year everyone dropping points, which means the league could go all the way. We were just happy with the win against Wolves because it wasn't an easy game.

 

One factor in City's favour is the presence of Carlos Tevez, whose man-of-the-match display on Saturday included a contender for goal of the season. Having a game-breaker like him around is vital when the margins are slim, admits Nigel,

“He is a special kind of player – you don't see that very often these days, a guy who can decide a game by popping up from nothing, even when you don't start the game that well.

“You had that with Ronaldo at United, with the same quality, and we have it with Carlos. But he can't do it alone – he is a tremendous player but he knows that he needs his colleagues on the pitch. That makes us dangerous to every opponent – if it isn't Carlos it will be someone else who steps up, maybe Dzeko or David (Silva)."

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