Team spirit key for Manchester City, says Kompany

 

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has a "gut feeling" this will be his club's season.

Roberto Mancini's side have dropped just two Barclays Premier League points at home all season and sit top of the table on Christmas Day for the first time since 1929.

Having also ended the club's 35-year-old trophy drought by winning the FA Cup in May, Kompany is more than happy with their progress and is optimistic they will have more to celebrate by the end of the campaign.

He told Sky Sports News: "This year in particular has certainly been proof of the fact we're going about it the right way and that's the main thing for us.

"I almost feel like I want to wait before I talk so much, but I really have a gut feeling that tells me that this is the season for us.

"It's not based on the fact that I'm being pretentious because of the players we have in the team or the money that has been spent. It's not about this.

"I feel we have a very good team spirit. This is something probably is the thing people don't expect as much in our team.

"The fact I see it every single day motivates me even more because I believe we've got it more than what people see and what people think."

Kompany credits Mancini for the improvements made at City, saying the Italian's "obsession" with getting better has driven the players on.

"He's a very passionate man - there's no mistake about that," the Belgium defender added. "What you see on the touchline is the man you get. He knows his football.

"He's obsessed - in the same way a lot of players are in our team - with victory and getting better and making sure that even when we win we're not looking back on the positive things but also on the things that went wrong so we can improve."

One of the players to have made a difference for City this term is Argentina forward Sergio Aguero, who has taken no time to adjust to life in England following his £38million summer switch from Atletico Madrid.

The 23-year-old bagged two more goals in Wednesday night's win over Stoke to take his overall tally to 15 - 13 of which have come during City's surge to the Premier League summit.

And Mancini does not want Aguero to stop now.

"I hope Sergio can score 30 goals," said the Blues boss.

"It is the same for Edin (Dzeko) and Mario (Balotelli). If they scored 50 goals between them it would be good for us."

Although it was generally acknowledged across Europe that Aguero was a player of exceptional talent, he could hardly have been expected to open his City career in such prolific fashion.

He joined the club at the end of July, when he came off the back of an arduous and unsuccessful Copa America campaign with Argentina.

Normally, players who have taken part in the South American championship either start slowly due to their lack of a pre-season programme, or flag after a couple of months because of tiredness.

Aguero has so far avoided both problems.

"Sergio is very strong physically," said Mancini.

"He is not tall but his strength is amazing.

"Also, he has always scored goals in every championship. For this reason I don't think he has had any problems.

"He is still only young and maybe now his value is even more because he has scored 15 goals in three or four months.

"He has the confidence to score even more but what is important at the moment is that he has improved our team."

There is little doubt Mancini would want Aguero in his side for the major matches against Liverpool, all three of them, Manchester United and Tottenham in January.

It is therefore quite possible the striker will be rested for either the Boxing Day trip to West Brom and the New Year's Day excursion to Sunderland.

That would require Dzeko to recover from the ankle injury that kept him out of the Stoke win, though.

Micah Richards is City's other minor fitness doubt ahead of tomorrow's encounter at The Hawthorns.

PA

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