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City are addicted to winning: Kyle

Updated on: 25 May,2024 06:09 AM IST  |  London

Skipper Walker hails manager Pep Guardiola’s drive and intensity as they look to beat Manchester United in tonight’s final to become first English club to win both Premier League and FA Cup two years in a row

City are addicted to winning: Kyle

Kyle Walker. Pic/Getty Images

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City are addicted to winning: Kyle

There’s a lot at stake as a dominant Manchester City take on an under-performing Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday. Last year, City beat United 2-1 in the same summit clash at Wembley en route an incredible treble-winning campaign that included Premier League and Champions League glory. City remain England’s pre-eminent force, as they showed by clinching an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title last weekend.

Dominant reign
Their dominant reign in the Premier League has extended to six titles in seven years, a dynastic spell that has led many pundits to label them the greatest English team of all time. “To do what we’ve done year in, year out, I don’t think many teams would be able to do that, especially in this Premier League,” City captain Kyle Walker said as he contemplated a potential second successive double.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Walker believes Guardiola’s drive and intensity are central to City’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for success. “I think it starts from the manager, first and foremost. He’s addicted to winning. He is addicted and it rubs off on us,” he said.

Man United star Bruno Fernandes meanwhile urged his troubled team to match his expectations. “I just want my expectations to fit with the expectations of the club. If you go talk to any fan, they will tell you the same thing. We want to compete for the league. We want to be playing Champions League football. We want to be in cup finals. That’s the standard. We have to give everything in this last match against City, and we have to move forward,” said the Portuguese player.   

Manager Erik ten Hag meanwhile, ended United’s six-year trophy drought by winning the League Cup earlier in the season, but returns to north London shaken by a turbulent campaign that leaves him fighting to save his job. United finished eighth in the Premier League—their lowest final position since 1990—and failed even to make it out of the Champions League group stage. 

Ten Hag blames injuries
Ten Hag has blamed United’s woes on injuries, but that might not convince the club’s new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe to keep faith with him. England boss Gareth Southgate, former Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ipswich chief Kieran McKenna have all been linked with the Old Trafford job. Ten Hag’s hopes of staying at United for a third season will improve if they can spoil City’s bid to become the first English club to win both the Premier League and FA Cup two years in a row. “I came here to win trophies. I’m just focusing on the job I have to do. That is first to win the game on Saturday and then keep going in the project,” Ten Hag said.

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