Man City vow to shoot down Schalke
Manchester City’s stars were put through their paces on a chilly yesterday up north as they prepared for their return to European football.
The Premier League leaders trained ahead of travelling to Germany to take on Schalke in the last-16 of the Champions League this night.
Pep Guardiola’s side are heavy favourites against a side who are 14th in the Bundesliga, and will hope to take a hefty advantage into the second-leg next month.
This week is shaping up to be season-defining for Guardiola as his side continue to fight for silverware on all four fronts.
After reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with victory over Newport they play Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
But Ilkay Gundogan fears that without European success City will not be remembered as a top team.
‘If you want to be in the international elite, when you want to be there both as a club and as a player, you need to clinch this trophy,’ the German international said.
‘You can’t go past it, at least in my opinion. I think that, if we were to win it someday, the club would enter a new era.
‘(It would be lifted) to the same level as Real, Barca, Bayern or Juventus, clubs that are maybe a step above us. Maybe not in the way they play football, but as a club at least.
‘Our job is to try and give it our all to make it a reality someday. We’ll try and will hopefully manage that somehow.
‘We’ve experienced a lot in the Champions League in recent years – not all of it positive, of course.
‘We should’ve won it at least once. So as you can imagine, there’s a very big drive within us to do something in the Champions League. The biggest low was probably being knocked out by Liverpool last season.
‘For that reason, the motivation to go far in this competition is huge and I think we have the quality required.’