Men's Team

Kyle Walker: High standards, not luck, driving City’s good form

Kyle Walker believes the ability to string together extended winning streaks is testament to the high standards Manchester City players and staff demand of themselves.

Pep Guardiola’s men will be aiming to record a 13th consecutive Premier League victory when we travel to Southampton on Saturday and such an impressive run of form has been a recurring theme under the Catalan.

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In 2017-18, we won a league record 18 games in a row, whilst last season, a 28  match unbeaten run was the catalyst for our title triumph.

Walker feels City’s desire for victory surpasses anything he has seen in his career and says dropping points is something which is just not tolerated by this group of players.

“We just seem to go on a run when people seem to drop points,” he reflected ahead of our trip to St Mary’s.

“Some people call it luck, but I don’t think you can have luck this many times throughout the number of seasons that I have been here.

“I feel it is the standards that we set ourselves as a team. We make sure that in each game we go out there and the minimum that we want is the three points.

“I have never been in a team where when we draw a game, the training ground for the next couple of days is down. That is the standards we have set, definitely over the last five seasons I have been here, that we want to win every game.

“When we do draw or when we do drop points, it is not acceptable because we know we can do better and we want to achieve those three points.”

Walker will make his 126th league start for the Club if selected on Saturday, the second highest in the squad since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2017.

The 32-year-old has proved himself to be a player Guardiola can rely on and he has started each and every cup final under the Catalan.

It is a record to be proud of, particularly when you consider he has faced competition for the right-back slot from two-time Champions League winner, Danilo, and Joao Cancelo.

Walker admits it would be easier to know he was guaranteed to start every week, but believes competition for places has been instrumental in the success both he and City have enjoyed over the course of his career.

“It is tough, but my happy place is the football field,” he added.

“Keeping the standards is hard and you have to make sure you prepare, look after yourself and do the work off the field, not just on the field.

“It is a credit to myself, if I do say so, with the amount of players the recruitment team have brought in, with Danilo being the right-back, then Joao.

“Making sure the manager can trust me and depend on me, I have to take praise for that.

“Would I like to sit here and be the only right-back, so I know that I am playing game in game out even if I have a bad training session? Of course, I would.

“But do I feel that I would have reached the standards or levels that I have achieved throughout my career [without it]?

“I signed at Tottenham with six right-backs in front of me and I had to go to various places on loan before I earnt the trust of Harry Redknapp.

“Would I or anyone else have achieved the heights we have achieved at City if they didn’t have people nipping at their heels, wanting their shirt, I don’t think we would.

“I think competition is good and it keeps everyone on their toes.”

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