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Fernando: December and January key to success

THICK OF THE ACTION: Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta get stuck in

THICK OF THE ACTION: Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta get stuck in

Manchester City midfielder Fernando believes December and January will be defining months of the season.

After victory over Arsenal on Sunday, City now sit third in the table and have leaders Chelsea in their sights. 

Pep Guardiola's side now face a run of four games in 11 days, starting with a Boxing Day trip to Hull City and culminating in a trip to West Ham United in the FA Cup third round.

And the Brazilian says City’s chances of silverware rest on a positive festive and new year period, with the second-half performance against Arsenal the blueprint for success.

“We know that our calendar is very busy at the end of the year, but it is the most important period of the season,” Fernando said.

“December and January are vital. We have to keep ourselves near the top of the table to be ready when it comes close to the end of the season.

“We have to repeat what we did in the second half against Arsenal. Aggression and pressing.

“We did not let Arsenal breathe in the second half. If we do this, I am sure we will win.”

Watch highlights of the win over Arsenal here

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In the absence of both Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan, Fernando formed a superb partnership with Yaya Toure that gave City the platform for victory against Arsenal.

It saw him receive widespread praise – but he is keen to play down his influence.

I always try my best,” he said. “Although it was not a top performance of myself, I believe I did a good job today.

“I am learning and improving. I hope I can repeat it in the coming matches or even play better.

“Everybody knows how good and how vital Fernandinho and Gundogan are for the team.

“We need them. Fortunately Fernandinho will be back in the next game, but sadly Gundogan got seriously injured.

“But we will work hard to win the next matches.”

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