| 7.3°C Dublin

Fate's in our hands

Close

Vincent Kompany . Picture: David Ramos/Getty Images

Vincent Kompany . Picture: David Ramos/Getty Images

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero. Picture: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero. Picture: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) and team mate Neymar.  Pictutre: REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) and team mate Neymar. Pictutre: REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

/

Vincent Kompany . Picture: David Ramos/Getty Images

MANCHESTER CITY captain Vincent Kompany led from the front as he urged everyone to believe ahead of his side's crunch Champions League clash in Barcelona.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini opted out of pre-match media previews duties at the Nou Camp as he prepared to begin a two-game touchline ban.

That left Kompany to sound the rallying call on the eve of the game as City bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit – and significant odds – to claim a place in the quarter-finals.

Kompany said: "It is in our hands. We are going out on the pitch and have to do the job.

"The message to everyone is we have to believe – not just for ourselves but we have probably more than 5,000 fans coming here hoping something might happen, of witnessing something special.

"That is what we have to believe in.

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

"In my opinion there is nothing better than chasing a lost cause.

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

OUTSPOKEN

Pellegrini did deliver a team talk as he oversaw a training session at the stadium on the eve of the game.

But the Chilean will now have to take a back seat as he pays the price for his outspoken attack on the referee after the first leg loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini is allowed to watch from the stands but can have no contact with players or his coaching staff until after the final whistle.

City have little European experience to fall back on but Kompany believes memories of the 2012 Premier League title win can inspire the players.

No-one connected with the club will have forgotten how City struck twice in the closing minutes of the final game of the season to snatch the domestic crown from rivals Manchester United.

Kompany said: "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."

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. 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 League Cup triumph, City 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 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 fire-power 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.

DYNAMICS

"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."

With Pellegrini set to watch from the stands, assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, an Argentinian who has worked with Pellegrini at numerous clubs in the past, will take his place in making tactical decisions.

"I know the way he thinks," Cousillas said.

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


Privacy