Men's Team

Grealish: Real Madrid exit has made City even more motivated to retain the title

Jack Grealish says that City’s agonising Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid has only served to make the players even more motivated to try and retain the Premier League title.

The England international came on as a late substitute at the Bernabeu on Wednesday where Pep Guardiola’s side suffered a heart-breaking 3-1 semi-final second leg loss after extra time on the night and 6-5 defeat on aggregate.

However, City have no time to dwell on the disappointment as we face a crucial return to Premier League action on Sunday when we play host to Newcastle United.

With four games to go, the mathematics are simple. If City win all of our remaining games we will seal a fourth Premier League crown in five years irrespective of what Liverpool achieve.

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And, for his part, Grealish is adamant that the result in the Spanish capital will only provide even greater motivation for the squad.

“Yes, 100 per cent. We have the Premier League to go and play for now. It is in our hands,” Grealish asserted.

“That is what we are here to do. That is why, in my opinion, we are the best team in the Premier League because we want to win stuff.

“We put that pressure on ourselves to constantly win trophies and the club as a whole has done that over the last ten years especially.

“I have lost quite a few finals in my time and a few important games and that (last Wednesday) was right up there.

“It was just the way we went out so late on. Here at City, one thing that I have realised is you have so many games that come thick and fast, so many important games

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“So, you don’t really have time to dwell on things. We just have to dust ourselves down and get back together as a unit which we have done in the last few days and get ready to go again.

“We have four important games coming up and we will give it our all in all of those games.

“Fingers crossed, we can end up lifting that (title) because the game the other night certainly gives us more of an edge to go and do that.”

With so much at stake and so little margin for error in the remaining league games, it means the pressure and stakes are higher than ever.

But Grealish says those unique demands are a big part of the reason why he was so excited to join City when he moved to the Etihad from Aston Villa last summer.

“It (pressure) is good and that is what I came here for; to try and lift trophies and have medals of my own,” Grealish asserted.

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“I will be honest with you, people obviously ask what you would rather win and I would never really say I would rather win this or rather win that, but for me I have never won the Premier League.

“You grow up wanting to play in the Premier League, not even thinking of winning it because it so far away and so much to achieve, so you just want to play in the Premier League.

“Once you play in the Premier League, then you think ‘imagine winning it one day’. For me, it would be a dream come true and I wouldn’t be able to put that into words.

“Fingers crossed. I just want to try and take each game as it comes. I am not going to sit here and say I never thought about winning the Premier League because that is what I have come here to do.

“At the moment I am just trying to think about one game at a time and our next game is Newcastle so fingers crossed we can get the job done there.”

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