MIDFIELDER calls for City to kickstart Euro charge by ‘delivering’ against Dortmund
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has stressed he and his team-mates are under no illusions about the significance of tonight’s Champions League home clash with Borussia Dortmund and says they are ready to “deliver”.
City are looking to get their European season kickstarted against the German champions after being beaten 3-2 by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in their Group D opener.
With Dortmund having begun with a 1-0 win over Ajax, the pressure is on the Blues to secure all three points this evening if they are to avoid a repeat of their maiden Champions League campaign last term, which ended in failure to qualify from another difficult group.
It is a reality that is in no way lost on the City squad according to Toure, who says the Blues are both determined and fully prepared to rise to the challenge tonight in front of an expectant Etihad Stadium crowd.
“It is a massive game for us,” Toure said. “We will need to work hard because we know Dortmund are a fantastic team.
“They are competitive, they defend together and they attack together.
“It will be a tough game. We know that and we are prepared for that.
“We need to get a good result. We have a good squad and we need to deliver.
“We understand the position we are in after we lost in Madrid.
“We are now playing our first home game in the Champions League and we want to show our fans that we know we made mistakes in Madrid.”
City boss Roberto Mancini believes preventable errors cost his team in Madrid, and he feels they must improve quickly to reach the knockout rounds.
The Italian is optimistic, though, that if the Blues manage to up their game and make it beyond the group stage, they can go all the way.
“Like we have improved (over the years) in the Premier League, we need time to improve in the Champions League, but we don’t have a lot of time – only five more games,” Mancini said.
“We need to not concede easy goals to drop points like we did against Real Madrid. If we want to go through, we need to improve very quickly.”
Asked if he felt he was still learning about the competition on a personal level, Mancini said: “I don’t need to learn.”
He guided City to the Premier League title last season and won Serie A three times while in charge at Inter Milan but has never gone beyond the Champions League quarter-finals as a manager.
Mancini added: “The Champions League is a difficult competition, but football is the same. It doesn’t change – it is still 11 players against 11.
“The problem is that you are always playing against the best team from another country and every game is difficult.
“I hope I can improve my record in the Champions League, and I think we have arrived at the time where we can win the Champions League.”