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Quadruple dream can become reality, says Stones

High aims: John Stones has his sights set on a clean sweep
High aims: John Stones has his sights set on a clean sweep

By Andy Hampson

John Stones believes the quadruple is not an impossible dream for Manchester City.

City need to overturn a first-leg deficit against Tottenham in the Champions League tonight to keep their bid for an unprecedented clean sweep alive.

City trail 1-0 on aggregate midway through the quarter-final tie after defeat in London last week.

Stones said: “I don’t think a lot of things are impossible, that is the mindset of different people.

“If you don’t dream big then you are not going to get anywhere near it. It comes from within everyone, we have this belief and ambition to do it.”

City are also involved in a close battle for the Premier League title with Liverpool. Stones is confident City can hit their stride in the run-in.

He said: “These sorts of games bring out the best in us. We have to trust in ourselves and our team-mates and perform.

“We have five games left, everything to play for and we have to enjoy the pressure, roll with it and believe in ourselves.”

Manager Pep Guardiola is relishing the challenge ahead of City as they continue to push for glory on all fronts.

Guardiola said: “I know how difficult our fixtures are and we play Tottenham and then the derby at Old Trafford and Burnley. All the games are tough. We don’t have rest. We play nine, 10 or 11 games more than Liverpool and I love this challenge.”

Guardiola has also questioned how much City fans want to see their team reach the Champions League semi-finals and has called on them to generate an atmosphere that will help his side to eliminate Spurs.

Guardiola said: “I want to see that they want to get to the semi-finals, not just the players, the fans too. I want to see that. We need them in our bad moments, at this stage we cannot go through. I’m really curious how our fans will be.”

Guardiola pointed to the level of support for the 2-1 win against Liverpool in the league on January 3 as acceptable.

“The Liverpool game would be enough for me, a little bit better,” the Catalan said.

Guardiola said sarcastically he is a failure for never having won the competition when at Bayern Munich for three years.

“People say I came here to win the Champions League. I didn’t come here to win the Champions League. I came here to play with my team the way we have been playing the last 20 months, that is what I came here for,” he said.

“Of course I want the Champions League — I know in Bayern Munich, a big club, after three seasons winning absolutely everything, the Champions League was a big failure.

“What can I say? I accept that. I have to live with that but it’s not a big problem, it pushes me on. I understand the others are better too, in this competition. They are better too. A lot of big, big clubs are not in the later stages either.”

Belfast Telegraph


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