Men's Team

Kompany: Houston derby has extra edge

LEADER: Vincent Kompany in training
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany admits it will be a strange feeling facing derby rivals United on the US tour in Houston.

The centre-back knows more than most just what a derby means having been contesting them since 2008.

So even though Thursday’s match at the NRG is a pre-season game, he acknowledges it will carry an extra edge.

Kompany said: “We play against United in a difficult context as it’s a friendly but never could I play this game as a friendly.

“The main thing is to explore the derby feeling so it will be competitive enough but at same time we get what we need out of it as it’s pre-season.”

Kompany addressed questions about his fitness head on after he suffered a disrupted 2016/17 campaign.

The skipper said: “The main reason I’m still here is because I never doubted myself, not for one second.

“Every time I start again, I have the feeling I will never be injured again. I’m positive, motivated, and when you play with these kind of players you only have to look at yourself to know if you are at the right level.

“I’ve worked hard, people around me understand me better, because of this environment I can look forward to season and help team.”

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He added: “I’d like to think I can still improve, even when I don’t play, just by watching the guys play, listening to manager, I feel like I have improved.

“You can’t let fear come into it. You train, you play, you are managed by people around you, I’d prefer to have something really bad happen on pitch than change who I am. The day that happens I’ll shake hands with everyone and be thankful for the experience.

“People have to trust my judgement on this now. I‘ve had too many injuries, I’m not a doctor but without the diplomas I’m probably as close as you can be to it!"

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Meanwhile, Kompany has been impressed with new boy Kyle Walker so far.

“The first thing you notice is his attitude to training was working and improving - I’d like to think he’ll improve again and help reach the next level.

“He can go forward with pace, he can help us defensively too - a good combination.”

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