Mens Team

De Bruyne expects nip and tuck title race

​Kevin De Bruyne expects City and Liverpool to go toe-to-toe again right up until the final game of the season.

The Merseysiders have a six-point advantage going into Sunday’s game, but the Belgian play-maker believes the title race will ebb and flow over the coming months.

“It’s been first against second and for the last few years and we have been duelling with them to win the league,”

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“This year I don’t see it being any different. There are some other teams with us but obviously Liverpool are the biggest threat.

“If they were to win, then the gap is big, but it’s not season-defining.

“There’s no way the season would be over, there’s still so many games after with a lot of points to play for, but obviously if you have a nine-point gap then they’d be very happy and for us there would be more pressure.

“We just have to do what we do; do our jobs and we all want to win.”

De Bruyne says the team are fully motivated to try and win a third successive title and says the players are well aware that the desire to achieve further success comes from within.

“Motivation comes from yourself,” he said. “A lot of teams have a problem with it. When you win one year, maybe you do a little bit less because you think ‘it’s okay we won last year’, but we showed last year that we would do everything to compete to be at the level to win the league back-to-back in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time.

“That’s hard, but the team is still motivated to keep on winning. You have to bring it out of yourself; it’s not for the manager to say let’s go to win; it’s the team and the players.

“You know how much work, dedication and focus you have to bring into this to be ready to do it again and I think the team is doing well in that aspect.

“We lost some points in the first few months, but that happens, we still do the same and at the end of the year if we do what we did in previous years but don’t win it then we can still be happy with what we did off the pitch, on the training ground and this is a really important aspect too.”

De Bruyne comfortably leads the Premier League assists charts this season, but he says personal accolade are not important.

“I’m happy that I’m back playing, back fit and that I’m helping my team,” he said.

“This is my main focus. I’m never too concerned about how many assists or goals I can get because I’m a midfield player whose role changes all the time.

“Last month I played more defensively because the team needed me to because we have a lot of injuries so I’m helping my team.

“People these days think statistics is the most important thing, but I just need to help my team keep winning.”

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