Men's Team

Gundogan: Fernandinho helped give me captaincy advice

New City captain Ilkay Gundogan has revealed how he sought the advice and input of his predecessor Fernandinho after taking over in the role.

The German international was selected by his Etihad colleagues to succeed Fernandinho as Club captain earlier this season following the Brazilian’s departure in the summer.

The 31-year-old has amassed a huge amount of experience over the course of his six years at the Club to date and his elevation to the prestigious role spoke volumes as to the respect with which he is held by his Etihad peers.

By way of preparing for the role, Gundogan disclosed how he had contacted his predecessor to pick up some tips and pointers ahead of taking up the reigns.

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And he revealed how he sought to lead by example rather than by any words.

“I was lucky to have Fernandinho and even this season I contacted him and asked for advice on a few things,” the midfielder revealed at Tuesday's pre-match press conference ahead of our Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

“So, he helped me out already, even though he isn't here.

“Personally, I don't try to change too many things. I try to lead by example.

“I may not be the loudest in the dressing room, but I try to lead by my actions.

“We have a lot of characters - some loud, some quiet - everyone is different. So, there is natural process through the season.”

It has been somewhat of a summer of change at the Club with Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleks Zinchenko all moving on and several new players coming in.

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But asked whether the character of the City dressing room had changed as a result, Gundogan said it had been a case of evolution rather than revolution.

“The atmosphere is quite similar to be honest,” Gundogan added.

“We lost good players and really good guys who were important for the positivity and atmosphere in the dressing room.

“But with others coming in and others stepping up, they contribute to the atmosphere.

“That is something every team in the world has to deal with. My personal role may change a little bit, but it is more about what is going on around us like organisation.”

City have come agonisingly close in recent seasons to securing Champions League glory.

We narrowly lost the 2021 final to Chelsea and suffered a heart breaking extra time semi-final loss to Real Madrid last season.

Asked what lessons the squad had digested from our recent European campaigns, Gundogan was unequivocal in his response.

“The most important thing is the margin and little details that decide quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals,” the skipper added.

“The margin is so tight. Obviously, the last few years the way we got knocked out was a little bit tragic in the way it happened but I don't think we should regret anything.

“It is always an experience for us. As a competitor, you try to be there again and do better. It is all you can do.

“The target is the same, we try to reach our maximum and see what will happen.”

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