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Gundogan reveals training key for City

RAISING THE GAME: Ilkay Gundogan

RAISING THE GAME: Ilkay Gundogan

City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes the intense competition in every training session has pushed the Blues on to new heights this season.

Gundogan has to battle a galaxy of stars to secure a spot in City's midfield, but has managed an impressive 44 appearances so far this term.

And given the joyous way in which the side like to play, even training is relished by the player who admits he and his manager "share our idea of the game".

Gundogan said: "It’s really exciting to train amongst such good players. To compete with them means to push myself to new limits in every session.

"I think it is a great benefit for all of us. And with the long season and all the different competitions everyone has played their part.”

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Both Gundogan and boss Pep Guardiola have a wealth of experience of the Bundesliga, but Gundogan feels the Premier League provides a stiffer test than the German top flight.

And having secured a League Cup and Premier League success with such a young squad, the 27-year-old Germany star feels the foundations have been laid for years of future glory.

He declared: "Although some of our players have won it before, it’s our first title as a group of players under the new manager. "That step is always a difficult one but we have worked hard all season and we are delighted to achieve it. We have developed together and there is a lot of potential. What we all have to do now is to work hard and believe in our ability to keep succeeding.”

“I think he (Pep) is one of the best coaches in the world and I’m really grateful to be able to work with him. But the competition in the Premier League is much harder than in Germany.

"We have five or six teams who are all able to win the league and that makes it incredibly difficult. But we are ambitious and we aim to win every game.

 

 

"If we continue with this mentality then there’s no reason we can’t continue in this way. We [he and Pep] share our idea of the game.

"After my comeback he gradually gave me more and more time on the pitch, getting me closer and closer to my best possible performance.

"He has put much trust in me and I am happy I was able to pay some of it back during this season. He was a great player himself, he has been in our shoes. He always asks for 100 percent, in every training session, every match.”

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Gundogan admitted to being taken by surprise by the news on Sunday and spent the evening celebrating with friends and family.

“I didn’t get to watch the United game," he revealed. "We’d been given a few days off by the manager and so I travelled over to Germany to watch the Schalke v Dortmund game.

"I was still in the stadium with my cousin and uncle enjoying dinner after the game when news came through. Schalke v Dortmund is obviously a pretty big deal in Germany and the most important derby in the Bundesliga so it was great to be there.

"I’d made my plans as soon as I realised that it wouldn’t interfere with our own matches, but no it’s fair to say I didn’t expect the hear the news that United had lost.

“I spent a really nice evening with my family and friends at home. It was a great moment for me - my first Premier League title. I’m obviously very happy. We have worked so hard for this and to win the title means so much to all of us having spent the season performing well. There were no big parties for me though! Everyone was getting in touch to congratulate each other in our team Whatsapp group. None of us really expect it to happen last night but it was great that it did and I know the whole team have been celebrating.”

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Media Watch

Media Watch: Press laud champions, City

REACTION: There's been widespread praise for Manchester City in the media.

Manchester City are champions of England and oh, how the world has reacted.

There’s been an outpouring of emotion from players and fans alike on social media and in the press, journalists have been equally effusive in their praise for Pep Guardiola’s side.