Bernardo Silva believes the importance of Wednesday’s Manchester derby cannot be understated.
And the Portugal midfielder says he is thriving under the pressure.
City currently sit top of the Premier League table after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham and the equation is simple: win our four remaining matches and we will become the first team to retain the title since Manchester United in 2009.
It makes Wednesday’s derby at Old Trafford a hugely significant game, but Bernardo says pressure at this stage of the season is a sign of success.
“A derby is always different, always a more emotional game,” he said.
“They are special to the fans, and we feel it. I’m looking forward to it – players enjoy these games the most. They are all important, but big games against the best teams are always the best games to play.
“We know we need the win, and the pressure is on – but that’s a good thing.
“It’s another massive game that we know we need to win as Liverpool will probably win all the games they have left in the Premier League.
“If we want to win the title we need to win all of ours.
“We only depend on ourselves but they depend on us and we want to try to keep it that way.
“Big game for us, big game for them. They need points to be in the top four and we need them to fight for the title.
“So we expect a very difficult game against one of the best sides in England.
“They will be motivated to beat us and we look forward to it.”
City’s won over Spurs came just three days after our Champions League exit on away goals to the London club.
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Lesser teams would perhaps have had difficulty picking themselves up for such an important game so soon after, but City produced a display of grit and determination to secure three vital points.
Bernardo says it was vitally important to respond with a win, and says the player will now switch their attention to the derby as we continue our bid for a domestic treble.
“It was a massive win, very important for us, especially after the defeat in the Champions League,” Bernardo said.
“We wanted to give a response with our fans here at home. We knew how important it was for them to keep the title race alive and to be top of the league again.
“We are so happy with the win and now it’s on to another tough one against Manchester United which I think will be crucial for the title.”
And the 24-year-old says the fans deserve huge credit for the way they have supported the side over the course of an emotional, highly-charged week.
“They were amazing, the way they pushed us to get this win. It was unbelievable, their support, after us going out of the Champions League,” he said.
“We have to thank for them for what they did.”