Title memories give City belief

11 March 2014 07:02

Captain Vincent Kompany will take inspiration from the dramatic title success of 2012 as Manchester City look to turn the tables on Barcelona.

City face a mountainous task as they bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit against the Spanish champions in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

City, having reached this stage of the competition for the first time, have little European experience or precedent to draw inspiration from ahead of the clash.

But no-one connected with the club will have forgotten the way they struck twice in the closing minutes of the final game of the season two years ago to snatch the Barclays Premier League crown.

Those memories, Kompany believes, should give the team all the motivation they need.

The influential defender said: "It is one of those games where obviously everyone has to be at their best.

"You won't achieve anything if you have passengers but we have done it before performance-wise. That is what we are trying to get out of everyone tomorrow.

"Football is made out of nights like this, it is why you play football.

"It is a tough ask, but emotionally you won't really beat what we experienced on the day we beat QPR.

"If anything should give you belief about chasing lost causes it should be that day.

"I am really excited about this one and the whole team is the same.

"We will try to make the best of it. The motivation and the belief are still there."

Kompany, speaking at a pre-match press conference at the stadium, would not be drawn on suggestions Barca could be vulnerable after some indifferent recent results domestically.

Gerardo Martino's side slipped to third in La Liga last weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by relegation battlers Real Valladolid.

Despite this month's Capital One Cup triumph, City themselves have not been at their fluent best of late and on Sunday they slumped to a shock loss to Wigan in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Kompany said: "It goes quickly in football. Last week we won the first trophy of the season then we got beaten at home by Wigan.

"I guess whichever team wins tomorrow will be on a high again but we will focus on our own game.

"I am looking to the strikers we have - (Sergio) Aguero, (Alvaro) Negredo, (Edin) Dzeko - that is what I want to focus on. We have firepower up front.

"If everything goes well we are capable of hurting Barcelona.

"I would say we have a chance to come here and we don't have anything to lose.

"It is all about that first goal. If we get the lead then I believe the dynamics of the game will change. I am convinced of that, but obviously it is one of the toughest places in the world to come and try to achieve something like this."

City will be without direction on the evening from manager Manuel Pellegrini as the Chilean begins a two-match touchline ban for his controversial comments about the referee after the first-leg loss.

Pellegrini took a training session at the Nou Camp but will be forbidden from making contact with players or his coaching staff after they arrive at the stadium for the game.

Kompany said: "It is a first for me. In 10 years I have always been used to the manager in the dressing room before the game.

"But ultimately it is the kind of game where you don't need too much extra motivation.

"I will presume the message will be clear for everyone before we get to the stadium, then from that moment on everyone knows what they have to do."

Pellegrini will be allowed to watch from the stands but will have to leave decisions to his coaching staff.

One of them, assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, even stood in for him for him at the press conference.

Media duties are normally obligatory for managers in the competition but can be excused in cases of suspension.

Cousillas, an Argentinian who has worked with Pellegrini at numerous clubs in the past, said: "I know the way he thinks. I know practically everything to do with the decisions that have to be made.

"I know he has got full confidence in me and if it has got to be done I am up to the challenge."

Source: PA