Men's Team

Dias: City relish difficult challenges

Dias: City relish difficult challenges
Ruben Dias says he and his teammates thrive under the pressure of the biggest matches and challenges.

City took a huge step towards a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals with a comprehensive 5-0 first leg win away to Sporting on Tuesday evening, sealing a record fifth successive away victory in the competition.

Pep Guardiola’s men have now won 19 of our last 21 matches in all competitions, including statement victories over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester United during that time.

And Dias believes that games of that magnitude, against the toughest opponents that both England and the rest of Europe has to offer, bring out the best in this City squad.

“In our team we all like to win, we like difficult challenges, because that is the only way we can show how good we are,” he said.

“A Champions League is another of those challenges. It's a special competition especially for that, because it involves the best teams in Europe.

“Obviously, it's a big ambition for all of us and we like to feel that pressure, that feeling that it's a team goal.

“But it's a positive feeling, because it makes us better, it makes us want to improve every day, both individually and collectively. It's a challenge we want, it's a challenge we are ready for.”

Despite that incredible run of form, Dias also highlighted the importance of consistently pushing to hit new heights across the 2021/22 campaign.

City currently sit nine points clear at the Premier League summit and, beyond our Champions League commitments, have also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.

But in the Portuguese defender’s eyes, that constant desire for improvement will be essential in our continued pursuit of silverware on multiple fronts.

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He reflected: “This is my second season here, but I'm already aware that Manchester City is a club that wants to win every competition we play in.

“There is still a long way to go, but I think the secret will be, above everything else, thinking about going game by game. That is what we are going to do.

“I think there are no secrets in this team. It's just having the mentality of wanting to become better every day.

“I think that's how we all feel and what we all want. That is why this team is winning season after season, it's not a coincidence.

“Our spirit and mentality are always the same, despite the results or despite our good moments.

“There is always room for improvement and there is always something to work for.”

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