Vincent Kompany claims Manchester City’s crunch clash with Liverpool is not the title-defining game many people believe.
Defending champions City will fall 10 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool if they lose the much-hyped encounter at the Etihad Stadium.
City have ground to make up after losing three of their previous five games but Kompany feels a good performance, rather than the result itself, holds the key to the second half of the season.
The City captain said: “I am not interested in the outcome just yet. I’ve been long enough in the game to know how important this game is but at the same time know this is not the all-defining game, as much as people want to put it that way.
“So many things can happen. Who would have thought we would have three difficult games in December? There is nothing to say that with circumstances, injuries and everything, that can’t happen to any team in this league.
“Therefore this game, as much as we want to and need to win it, it is not the all-defining game. If we play how we can then I will feel very comfortable despite the result, whatever it is, to go into every other competition and try to win it.
“Even if we don’t win this game we will be going for so many titles this season. That is the most important for our team. Just to get back to who we are.”
Kompany, who has won three Premier League titles, insists there is no shame in being beaten by a better team – as long as City have given their best.
The 32-year-old defender said: “If another team is better than you, fair play, shake their hands and be happy for them if they deserve it.
“If not, the biggest regret would be to not achieve our standards. If we go back to our standards everything is wide open for us.”