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City travel to Newcastle tonight, determined to open up a 15-point gap over our nearest title rivals with a victory.
An astonishing feat at this stage of the season but skipper Vincent Kompany has warned of the dangers of complacency, highlighting memories of his side’s remarkable title win in the ‘stupendous’ 2011/12 campaign as evidence.
Quoted in the Express (amongst others), the Belgian declared: “I don’t know if everyone will remember but it was six games left and we were eight points behind.
“So, that’s why I am always the first guy to come in and say: ‘no guys, we can’t really take the foot off the gas’.
“I really don’t want that. We push, we push, we push and no one has the right to let their performance down, their guard down.
“It’s the first time we have been ahead like this. It’s just that thing where you still feel it’s a bit too early to draw any conclusions. We just have to keep it up. It’s the first thing you think about.
“I was saying: when you are on such a run, you almost want to put it aside straight away and think about the next one because you know how little it takes to lose that special feeling. So, we head towards the game in Newcastle with a happy feeling but with a sense of duty.
“We are in a position where we can just focus on our football – not anything else – and winning the game and having the performance at the same time. The desire to win is there.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles believes the Magpies have ‘nothing to lose’ against the Premier League leaders.
His comments feature in the Chronicle, as he claims the pressure sits with the visitors.
“Defensively, we know we’re going to have our hands full,” he stated. “We’ve got to be on it.
“We’re playing against world-class players. The manager will give us a gameplan – whether it’s long ball, physical or whatever it is. Hopefully, we’ll stick to that and get something from the game.
“Teams have tried everything against them. High pressure, low pressure, five at the back, but they always seem to get through. It’s going to be a tough game. We know this, but it’s 11 men v 11 men.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got nothing to lose. They’ve got pressure on them, because they’re trying to win the title. We’ve got nothing to lose, really.”
Ciaran Clark echoed the sentiments.
As reported by the Daily Star, he agreed: “We know it's going to be tough against City – they're an unbelievable side which they've shown all season.
"But we'll go out there and give it our best shot, and then who knows what might happen.
"Hopefully, we can be the team that stops their run.
"It is going to be hard work, for a start, and concentration.
"They've obviously spent a lot of money on talent and they've obviously got loads of talented players. The squad they've got is unbelievable.
"Hopefully, we can take the confidence from the game at West Ham into the City game, and who knows what can happen.
"When you play against teams like City you know they are going to create chances.
"It is going to be one of those games that if we can keep it tight and then create a couple of chances then we can catch them by surprise, maybe."
Elsewhere, as the January transfer window draws closer, the Manchester Evening News have shared some speculation regarding alleged target Wilfried Zaha.
According to Simon Bajkowski: “Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have all been linked with a move for the forward and he has also been mooted as an alternative to Alexis Sanchez for Manchester City.
“Hodgson is determined to keep hold of Zaha for as long as possible but does not realistically believe they can keep the big clubs at bay if the star continues to shine.”
A look ahead to the trip to St James' Park...
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