Gael Clichy says it doesn’t matter which division Barnsley are in because the Blues will be treating the game as another Premier League clash.
City were dumped out of the Capital One Cup earlier in the season by Aston Villa and the recent defeat to Southampton proved that nothing less than total concentration and effort is good enough, especially with the prospect of another trip to Wembley on the horizon.
“I think we’ve learned this year that we can’t go into any game thinking it is going to be easy and that we will progress without a problem,” said Clichy.
“We lost to Aston Villa at home when everyone expected us to win so that is an example of what can happen.
“We also lost at Southampton not that long ago and Barnsley are maybe on a different level compared with those teams, but that’s the passion we have in England and any game could be difficult even if you are two or three goals ahead with 20 minutes left – anything can happen.
A team like ours should not think like that but we started the season really slowly and I think we are only now hitting our true form in terms of performances so we won’t be underestimating Barnsley at all
“We just want to win this game – we know we are fighting for the title but the FA Cup is the first trophy available and we have enough quality and character to make sure we are focused and professional for this match.”
Last season’s FA Cup third round loss to Manchester United was quickly forgotten with City powering towards a first title in 44 years, but Clichy says the Blues proved how much they wanted to win the FA Cup as well in a stirring second-half fight-back.
“The desire was there for sure because we kept fighting against United and came back from 3-0 down with ten men to 3-2 and if there had been another ten or fifteen minutes, I think we’d have forced a replay,” he said.
“It’s true our complete focus was on winning the Premier League and maybe that took precedence, but even though we are still aiming to win the title, 12 points is a big gap and the FA Cup is a trophy that is still within our own destiny.
“We need to go for it against Barnsley and try to get back to Wembley then take it from there because a semi-final there would be amazing for the team and our supporters.”