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Fernandinho issues Kyiv warning

The Brazilian midfielder knows Kyiv well from his time playing in the Ukraine and says there is still plenty of work to do.

The Brazilian midfielder knows Kyiv well from his time playing in the Ukraine and says there is still plenty of work to do.

The Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan writes: “The Blues are seeking a place in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time when the Ukrainian champions arrive at the Etihad Stadium for Tuesday's second leg.

“And they have a big advantage after racking up a 3-1 win on a snowy night in Eastern Europe last month.

“But Brazil star, who has had many battles with Kyiv from his eight years with their domestic rivals Shakhtar Donetsk, said that will not faze their opponents.

‘It is not finished,’ he said. ‘There are still 90 minutes to play against a dangerous team.

‘The first game we played against them was very good for us. We scored three goals away in the Champions League, which makes a lot of difference.

‘But we have to be prepared for the second leg. We have to concentrate 100 per cent to avoid any surprises and to get to our target.’

Meanwhile, looking at a more immediate challenge, Norwich boss Alex Neil is challenging his players to rise to the challenge when City visit Carrow Road tomorrow.

In a game neither side can afford to lose, the lunchtime kick-off will give the struggling East Anglian side a chance to escape the bottom three before their rivals play, while the Blues can close the gap on the teams above.

The Eastern Daily Press report: “The Canaries’ face title-challenging Manchester City this weekend in the bottom three and looking for a first top flight win in 10 games.

“Neil knows the headline figures make sorry reading but the Scot still believes in himself and his players they can survive over a tense run-in.

Everyone wants to do well, everyone is frustrated at times but I think it is important my mood and the way I respond and react bleeds into my players,’ he said. ‘They have to believe that we can do what is required over the remaining games

‘Don’t worry about picking up points, just calm yourself down and focus on winning games. Listen the bottom line is when you are managing a team you are there to be criticised.

‘You go into the job with your eyes open. If it goes well you take the plaudits, if it doesn’t you take the stick. I am big enough and man enough to take whatever comes my way.

‘People can question things all they like. I just have to make sure I get my set of players believing in what we are doing and working as hard as they can and hoping they can make enough the difference in the remaining games.’

Finally, Sergio Aguero has told close pal Lionel Messi that living in Manchester isn’t that different from Barcelona.

OK, we’ve heard this before but all worth a read –

Give Me Sport

write: Aguero would love to see Messi join him at City and revealed in January that he has tried to persuade his compatriot, and old friend, to swap the sunny climes of Barcelona for rainy Manchester.

‘I said to him we spend the majority of our time inside at home,’ Aguero was quoted as saying by the Mirror. ‘We play every three days so we just eat, rest between games - so the weather is not really that important.

‘So I told him that Manchester is ideal as a city because you stay at home all day, you play every three days.

‘We can eat, we can meet up, drink Mate [a traditional South American drink] and play football together.’

More gossip and rumour tomorrow…

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PARTNERSHIP: Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero celebrate a goal against Aston Villa.

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City’s 4-0 win against Aston Villa is still making the headlines this week with the Manchester Evening News running an interview with Raheem Sterling from after the game.