Saturday, 7 April 2012

Summerbee speaks about the title race

Summerbee: Title is still achievable  

By Aaron Leggott

After a 2-0 win at Ewood Park on Monday night, Manchester United have taken pole position in the Premier League title race, extending their advantage at the top of the league to five points. 

With just seven games remaining, it's going to be a big ask for City to overcome that points deficit to defy the odds and win our first ever Premier League title, but after speaking exclusively to the Sky Blue View, Mike Summerbee believes that it can go down to the wire.

"I think the team has what it takes (to win the league) but it's all down to how the players perform on the day. It's in United's hands at the moment, but I believe there's lots of hiccups left until the end of the season. We have just got to keep pushing on, but if we finish second, it's still been a magnificent season.

"It's been thrilling and exciting but I'm still waiting until the last kick of the season as it could go down to the wire."

Together, we are stronger. 

Of course, everyone is aware that United's run in is considerably easier than our's, but as Summerbee reiterated to us, every game is difficult from now until the 13th May, and it just depends on how the players cope with the pressure. 

Summerbee is no stranger to a title race with United, after City's triumph in beating our local rivals to the 1968 First Division crown after a 4-3 victory at St James' Park, and it could well take another similar outcome if City are to win the league.

But nothing will be achieved without the backing of our magnificent fanbase, and Summerbee emphasised how important the fans have been in elevating ourselves up the table throughout the past 18 months.

"They have been there throughout the season and the expectancy is very high now. They want to see us win the title and it's a long time since we've done it.

"However, it's been a very successful season and if you asked City fans 18 months ago whether we would win the FA Cup or be vying for the league they wouldn't have believed it. Roberto Mancini should be given credit for the magnificent job he has done."

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe
Bringing in players like Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva, you can't argue with Summerbee's sentiments about the Italian. Mancini has played a big part in transforming this club from top to bottom, and even if we do finish second, he has given City fans a team to be proud of, and one which has broken numerous records throughout the season. 

The likes of Aguero and Silva are definitely influential players if we stand any chance of winning the league, but Summerbee also mentioned the presence that Vincent Kompany holds in the dressing room, and he is a big plus to have back after missing the last month through injury.

"You obviously can't pick an individual out, but with Kompany coming back, it's a big plus. We also need Aguero to be fit, as we missed him greatly on Saturday and when he's on the pitch he seems to motivate everyone around him. He is the same as Pablo Zabaleta, who is a fantastic footballer." 

There is also the small matter of the return of Carlos Tevez, who could well prove to be the final piece of the jigsaw. After making his return against Chelsea, Tevez has come off the bench against both Stoke and Sunderland, and it seems like the Argentinian is slowly regaining his match fitness.

"He's nearly match fit and he could well be the icing on the cake. We have to win our next seven games and Tevez could be vital in helping us do so. I'm a great admirer of Tevez as a footballer, not as much of an admirer of him off the field, but we've got him back so we've got to use him. 

"However, when he came on against Chelsea, he was joined by Gareth Barry who was also a big influence in helping to turn that game around. I'm a great admirer of Barry and he will be another player who we need fit until the end of the season."

If the title is to come to the Etihad Stadium, we will have to win every game, including Sunday's clash at the Emirates. Summerbee believes it will be a tough game due to the style of football Arsenal play, but if we play our strongest team then we have every chance to get something from the game. 

There are no excuses now. The players have to treat every game like a cup final. The fans will be behind them every step of the way, as will every single person connected with the club. We have the players to turn this around, we just have to believe in ourselves. Together, we are stronger. 

(Interview by Archie Barnett)

(c) The Sky Blue View 2012

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