Stones looking to City’s seasoned campaigners to guide team home in title race

Stones looking to City’s seasoned campaigners to guide team home in title race

John Stones believes the older heads in the Manchester City dressing room are vital as they aim to see off Liverpool’s title challenge.

City will retain the Premier League crown if they win their final two games against Leicester at home and Brighton away, but with Liverpool just a point behind there is little room for error.

It is a far cry from last season when City won the title with five games to spare and went on to finish a record 19 points clear of their nearest rival.

Defender Stones said: “It’s a different scenario, last season the league was done by now. It’s a strange situation because some of us haven’t been in this situation before.

“I think Vinny (Kompany) said that these are the times when it brings the best out of you as a player, but him as a player, David (Silva), Sergio (Aguero) and a few of the others have been in this situation before. They know what the feeling is, how to get the best out of it.

“We’ve got to be guided by those and try to take everything in. It makes everything exciting, keeps everyone on our toes.

Vincent Kompany, with trophy, is chasing his fourth Premier League title with Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA
Vincent Kompany, with trophy, is chasing his fourth Premier League title with Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA

“If you ask me if I’d prefer to win it like last season, I’d say yes, but the situation we are in we’re really enjoying, trying to go with the flow, take everything in and keep putting the performances in.

“I wouldn’t say it’s keeping us motivated – because everyone is motivated to win and lift the Premier League – but it’s making us hungrier to keep winning, keep the pressure on and keep fighting until we can’t any more.

“It’s exciting to be part of it.”

I think it's better for the football fans in general that it's gone so late in the season and nobody has won it yet.

Stones feels winning another title would be more special than last year’s success, not because of the tight race, but because it would make City the first team to win two in succession for a decade.

The 24-year-old said: “It’ll be special because it will be back to back, not because we’ve been pushed by Liverpool.

“I think it’s better for the football fans in general that it’s gone so late in the season and nobody has won it yet.

“We could be fighting right down until the last game.

“But for me I’d say it’d be more special as it would be back to back. That’s so difficult to do.”

City have won their last 12 games and Stones realises there is still no room to ease up.

John Stones has warned in-form City they cannot ease up (Dave Thompson/PA)
John Stones has warned in-form City they cannot ease up (Dave Thompson/PA)

He said: “Nobody in our dressing room will take these last games lightly and say these are easy wins.

“Never under-estimate any team that’s lower in the league than you are, that’s when you start to become complacent and slip up yourselves.

“I think as players we go in and attack the games as difficult, respect our opponents and try to play our game.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Defeat by Norwich not pivotal to our title hopes – GuardiolaDefeat by Norwich not pivotal to our title hopes – Guardiola

Vincent Kompany ‘the proudest man in the world’ after Man City testimonialVincent Kompany ‘the proudest man in the world’ after Man City testimonial

Laporte undergoes knee surgeryLaporte undergoes knee surgery

Manchester City anxiously await news over Aymeric Laporte’s knee injuryManchester City anxiously await news over Aymeric Laporte’s knee injury

More in this Section

Rugby legend Gareth Thomas reveals HIV positive statusRugby legend Gareth Thomas reveals HIV positive status

Gavin: 'Life is not a straight line, there are twists and turns and cul-de-sacs'Gavin: 'Life is not a straight line, there are twists and turns and cul-de-sacs'

Kilkenny: 'It’s the most special feeling I’ve ever felt in my whole life'Kilkenny: 'It’s the most special feeling I’ve ever felt in my whole life'

Keane: 'The goal just after half-time wasn’t part of the plan'Keane: 'The goal just after half-time wasn’t part of the plan'


Lifestyle

The evening may have gotten off to a slow start, but velvet-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter Feist’s performance at Cork Opera House on Saturday night was worth waiting for.Velvet-voiced Feist worth the wait

More From The Irish Examiner