Kyle Walker wants City to harness the pain felt in the aftermath of our Champions League exit to Real Madrid and use it to do something special in the closing weeks of the 2023/24 campaign.

City may have gone out at the quarter-final stage of the UCL but Pep Guardiola’s men are attempting to win four Premier League titles in a row, finding ourselves two points ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool with six games to go.

But before we return to top-flight action, we face Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup this weekend, another competition we’re attempting to defend.

Walker said the chance to finish the campaign on a high, starting with that Wembley encounter on Saturday, was ample incentive to bounce back.

“You have to take it on the chin and move on now. It’s a hard one to take,” Walker commented post-match after defeat to Los Blancos.

“We are a collective – we win and lose together.

“We’ve got another important final on Saturday against Chelsea.

“It hurts and we’ve got to feel the pain. It’s a set-back. Hopefully that give us the motivation to go on and do something special at Wembley. We go again.

“It’s part of our job – we are professionals, and we have to do it. We owe it to the fans and the lads as a group of players because we’ve worked too hard to throw it away now.

“We’ve got a massive run-in for the Premier League, a really big game against Chelsea and we have to take this as motivation to go on and do something special.

“The best thing in football is you have a game to put it right and Saturday is a massive game. It’s a great opportunity to take this hurt and fire from our belly.”

Reflecting on Wednesday’s defeat to Carlo Ancelotti’s men, Walker admitted it was tough one to take and said that losing on penalties was ‘the cruellest way’ to go out.

“The hardest part of football is putting the ball in the back of the net.

“You have to say they defended well. It’s a tough one – as a whole we were probably the better team, but you have to take your hats off to Real Madrid. Their game plan worked.

“You do these drills eight times out of ten in training and it’s very hard for the attackers to go and score when you’re against a low block.

“We should be used to that – we’ve dealt with that, especially for the last seven years since I’ve been here… people come to the Etihad, and they find it difficult.

“We should have the experience to go and hurt the teams that come and do that. 

“The rub of the green wasn’t on our side and especially when you go to penalties – I’ve been there for England and for City and lost and won. It’s a flip of the coin.

“It’s very difficult. It’s probably the cruellest way to ever lose a game but it’s part and parcel of the game.

“We’re obviously extremely disappointed as a set of players and a club to not go and maintain the Champions League.

“It wasn’t to be, and we have to say a big congratulations to Real Madrid and wish them all the best in the competition.”