Gundogan ready for important Premier League match up
“That’s football. We played very well [against Everton] and in the end that’s the important thing” said Gundogan.
“We dominated the game and it was not a small team that we faced, it was Everton. They are really tough to play and if you watch the way they played against us, with 10 or 11 players around their own box, even then we had great chances to win the game. We didn’t, but we took a point and of course we take that and learn from it. The most important thing is being able to play against such teams and play the way we want to play. We just try to carry on like that.”
Of course, it would have been a completely different story against the Toffees had either Kevin De Bruyne or Sergio Aguero managed to convert either of their penalties.
“Maybe we will practice them more than ever!” joked the German international.
“Sometimes it’s a bit of luck that you need in these situations and we didn’t have the luck that day. Maybe we will have it in future! ”
City fans had to wait a little longer than hoped in order to see Gundogan in a blue shirt, but they’ve enjoyed a host of impressive performances from the midfielder since making his bow last month. Ilkay is under no illusion that the Saints pose a real threat on Sunday.
“I’ve been very impressed with the way that Southampton have started the season. I’ve also been impressed with how they have played over the last few years. Lot of big teams struggle against them. I think City in the last season had some quite tough games against them. They are a really good team and have had a good start to the season. It will be anything but an easy game for us but we play at home and just want to play the football we played against Everton. If we do that then we will be happy again.”
Since City’s lightning start to the campaign, culminating in six straight victories, the Blues’ domestic and European results have been mixed since. Gungodan believes the Blues must take each opponent and competition as it comes throughout a lengthy season.
“The season is so long and there are so many competitions. We play in two cup competitions, in the Champions League and in the Premier League and we also have international players. It’s quite a lot of games so it’s definitely not easy but that’s why we’re here. We want to prove that we’re good enough to play against every team. We want to do it step-by-step and be as successful as possible.”
Despite the pressure of playing in England and competing at the highest level in Europe, the former Dortmund man is already feeling settled and enjoying life in Manchester.
“I am very glad to be a City player and I want to be as successful as possible here and show my type of football. That’s why I’m here, that’s why the manager wanted to sign me” declared Gundogan.
“It’s a big challenge for me and the next step after seven years in German football. It was the right moment for me. The combination of the club and the manager at the right time was perfect for me and I didn’t want to miss this situation. I was quite sure and very convinced that this was right for me. The first weeks have proven it and I’m very happy to be here.”
And what would be deemed as a good first season in England for Ilkay?
“I think we just have to keep playing how we’re playing. We have so much quality in our squad and great players. If we keep playing how we started in the first weeks of the season then I’m quite sure we can be really happy at the end of the season and also really successful. I don’t know in which competitions or exactly how but I’m sure we will be. We should just try to focus on the things we did in the past and we want to improve for the future. That is the big challenge for us and if we can handle that we will be very happy at the end of the season.”