Phil Foden can’t wait to sample yet another Manchester derby and stressed that the result is all that matters on Sunday.

City were in scintillating form in the last clash with our neighbours at the Etihad, winning 6-3, including a hat-trick from Foden himself.

While that sensational win was one for the ages, our in-form playmaker is less concerned about performance this time around and far more bothered about picking up the three points.

“Very special,” Foden said when asked what the derby meant to him.

“I know what it’s about, I know how the fans feel.

“It’s a big occasion and I’m happy that I’m part of it. 

“I feel there’s a little bit more pressure on the game because it’s the one that everyone cares about. It’s the one fans want to win desperately.

“Just to win – it doesn’t matter how. Just to win the game is important for us and the season.

“I’ve scored a couple of times [against Manchester United]. Hopefully, I can continue to do that and help the team win.”

The clash with United begins a hugely exciting stretch of matches across March for City.

After this weekend’s titanic tussle, we then take on FC Copenhagen for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League before a mouthwatering clash with the top-flight’s current top dogs, Liverpool at Anfield.

Then we’re aiming for the semi-finals of the FA Cup as we host Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United and the month ends with a humdinger of a fixture, Arsenal at home at the Etihad.

Foden is relishing these games and is more than aware of their importance.

“It’s the biggest month,” he said of March.

“It’s where the titles are going to be decided, I think.

“Being at a club like Manchester City, we thrive off the big occasions and the big games.

“We prefer to play the best teams possible so I’m just looking forward to it.

“We take it game-by-game and see where it takes us. The season that we had last year – it’s going to be tough to top that but why not try and do it again.

“That’s the mentality that we have. We’ve got the group of players to do it and we’ve got the right manager, and we’ve proved it before so why not.”

Foden is enjoying a sensational season with City.

He’s currently up for both Premier League and Etihad Player of the Month awards for February.

The 23-year-old, in fact, has been involved in nine goals in his last ten Premier League appearances for City, scoring five and assisting four.

Overall, across 2023/24, he has 16 goal involvements (nine goals, seven assists), his joint-most in a single league campaign.

Foden is loving life in the side, especially as a more central cog in the midfield.

“Maybe, yes,” he said when quizzed if this was the best season of his career so far.

“It’s the most consistent games that I’ve played.

“I’ve been playing in a new position as well – more inside and more midfield and I’m enjoying it.

“I’m enjoying the season and I’m in good form at the moment, so I want to keep that up.

“Sometimes it just clicks and happens – you get a run of games, there’s nothing more to it.

“For me, it’s given me a lot more freedom – to pick up the ball a lot more and do a lot more things. I’ve enjoyed it every time I play there.”

While he’ll have enjoyed his plethora of goals and assists in the campaign to date, Foden will have also been thrilled with the words of his manager Pep Guardiola following his performance in our last Premier League game at Bournemouth.

Foden scored the only goal to ensure a valuable 1-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium and Guardiola called him ‘world-class’ as he faced the press after the match.

Foden was humbled by those comments as he looks to continue his progression.

“I wouldn’t say world class yet – I think I’ve got the potential to be but to hear that from the manager is special for me,” he added.

“I still want to keep improving and try to be an even better player. To do it for a number of years – that’s when you get the world class status.

“I have to do it consistently in the biggest games and biggest occasions.” 

Next up...the Manchester derby!