The popular Belgian, who has enjoyed another excellent season for the Blues, opened his heart to the media in the wake of Wednesday night’s narrow defeat to Spurs and he’s confident that City will build on the progress made in 2009/10.
Q: There's a lot of focus on the manager, would you say this team needs stability, needs to have a pre-season with the Manager and have him with you?
It’s not for me to comment and give personal statements, but what I am going to say is every team needs stability. It is the basis of any good team.
Look at the best teams, they have not been built in a day, but over years and some of them decades.
...Vinnie on building for the future.
Stability will eventually get us in there and its stability that has made us look better at the end of the season rather than the beginning. I think next season we are going to look even stronger because the people in charge of this club are very clever people so will know exactly what to do.
Q: Because of the disappointment against Spurs, does that make Sunday a very difficult game?
It’s going to be an important game. We want to finish fifth, we owe it to our fans. Tottenham have been very good this season, we have been very good this season and the fact they won it, is all credit to them.
We want fifth place, which will be one step closer to fourth for next season and maybe even better than that.
Q: The fact that there won't be a place in the Champions League next season, does that mean that it will be more difficult for the club to attract the kind of players they would like to join City?
I am not sure a lot of people would bet against us even if we go into next season with that team. We are only going to get better and definitely sure, the owners and manager will add some quality players to the positions that we need and that’s going to be enough, I feel, to achieve our goals next season.
Q: In what way do you think we have progressed this season?
I think we know each other better now. You can recognise our style and pattern which wasn’t the case before.
I was probably the oldest serving player on the pitch against Spurs and that says it all really.
I’ve only been here for two years. If you want to understand why our season has been ups and downs, there you have you your answer.
Think of this team and name every single player individually and one more year playing together, I would back that team all day.
Q: So as well as with the manager, you are saying we need stability in the playing squad as well?
Like every top team, we need players that make the team better. I am sure that’s going to happen. I will also say you have the strong base to build on and grow a stronger team. I don’t think 14 players will happen again. It was an exceptional situation. Stability will be there next season.
Q: Do you sense the players around you are just as hungry as you to be successful and do something here?
I don’t think we have lost two games in a row. We have had moments where we have had a little setback and only lost seven games. We are up there with the best when it comes to losing games, but the response we have always had – and I hope it will be the same on Sunday and I expect the same response – has always been that of a team that wants to achieve things.
We have had many things happen that have stood in our way. People maybe won’t know importance of the stuff happening off the pitch and I’m thinking, let us have a bit more of a quiet season and let everyone focus on the game and I would definitely not put my money against a good Manchester City next season.
Q: If players are looking at City even though they know they are not in the Champions League, would your message to them be that this is the place to be?
It’s the role of the manager or the owners to make the team look sexy towards the players they want to attract, but I’m here experiencing it from the inside. You see what’s happening on the pitch and I see what’s happening off the pitch and I can assure you that the standards that are being sought off the pitch are just as high as the ones we want to achieve on the pitch.