Men's Team

Gundogan: City are taking nothing for granted

Gundogan: City are taking nothing for granted
Ilkay Gundogan says record-breaking City are taking nothing for granted as we step up our quest for success on four fronts.

The German midfielder has been in outstanding form this term – and has been a pivotal figure in City’s rise to the top of the Premier League table alongside our push for silverware in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League.

Gundogan was earlier today named as the Premier League player of the month for January following a stellar month that saw the 30-year-old score five times and help the Club to six wins out of six in the league as well as recording a perfect nine victories across all competitions – another English first.

And as he looked ahead to Saturday’s latest league encounter at home to Tottenham Hotspur, Gundogan said the mood was buoyant within the City dressing room after our historic run of 15 consecutive wins – but stressed that Pep Guardiola’s players were not resting on their laurels.

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“It (the mood) is a very positive one at the moment as you can imagine,” Gundogan reflected.

“We are very happy, not just happy about the results that we have got recently, but we are happy about the way we are playing at the moment.

“We are grateful, we don’t take it for granted and we will try to continue like that.

“It is very important to stay humble.

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“I said that after the game against Liverpool and the manager said it to us. It is very important because it is such an extraordinary season and we definitely don’t take it for granted that we have won 4-1 away at Anfield.

“But also, we know that in the games we will face difficult games against bottom sides like we did against Sheffield United at home.

“They were a team that made us struggle a lot, so every single game has its own character and own challenge with it. That is why it is difficult in every single game.”

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As well as achieving the historic feat of recording 15 straight wins, its now 22 games since City last tasted defeat – ironically, a 2-0 loss away to Tottenham in last November’s reverse league fixture.

Reflecting on the setback, Gundogan said the squad had digested the lessons and applied them in the right way.

But he also warned that Jose Mourinho’s side would again prove to be dangerous opponents in Saturday’s Etihad encounter.

“I am not sure [if our last defeat against them this season] was a turning point to be honest. Maybe that it is a better question to ask Pep,” Gundogan added.

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“I know that since then Pep has tried to change some little details in our game and then it sometimes takes a little bit of time to get everything out of it.

“You try to learn from every game, especially from the games that you lose, and we have learnt quite quick and well I think.

“We did our jobs. We appreciate what is going on for us right now and we should try to do our best to keep improving and maintaining that level.

“I think they have a lot of quality and that is something we cannot deny. They have a great manager who has won a lot in his career so far, they have great players and they are a dangerous team.

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“We know we need to defend against them better than we did in the first game because we conceded the goals was too easy.

“Offensively we can do better as well. I think, right now, we are in a different moment to the first game this season and I am sure that we can do a lot of things better and hopefully we will be able to.”

Gundogan’s two-goal return in last weekend’s superb 4-1 win at Anfield took his goal tally for the season to 11 – his best yet in his four and a half years at the Club.

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Asked about that impressive goals return, Gundogan revealed he was enjoying being deployed in a slightly more offensive position.

“I don’t really know what the difference has been this season but I just feel like I am playing in a more offensive role and maybe my hunger to arrive in the right spaces or moments has increased compared to other seasons.

“I just try to be there and help my team as much as possible, but not just offensively.

“Defensively I try to be there and try to win duals, block shots and be where I am needed. I know the game is so intense that I have to prepare myself as good as possible in training sessions but then also when I am at home and try to give myself the best possible rest and be ready for every single game.

“Then, everything will work out quite well and will work out the way it has worked out in the last few weeks. I will just try to continue like that.”

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