Belfast Telegraph

Man City hurt by chasing perfection says Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany admits Manchester City have come unstuck in their desire to play the "perfect game" at times this season.

But the fit-again City captain is confident the team are heading back in the right direction after rediscovering their best form in recent weeks.

City have played some of the exhilarating football for which manager Pep Guardiola is renowned in compiling a four-game unbeaten run since suffering a humbling 4-0 loss at Everton last month.

Their performances have been much more reminiscent of the 10-game winning start they made to the season than the inconsistent autumn and winter sequence that recorded another low with a 4-2 thrashing at Leicester.

Kompany told the club's website: "I think this season has been interesting, very 'learnful'. Obviously you want to be top of the league and with the ambitions we have we want to be competing for everything and winning everything, but it has been very 'learnful' and I think we are somehow on a good track. It just needs to translate into results.

"We are looking to play the perfect game at the moment, and on the way to playing the perfect game there are a few times where it is not all going your way.

"I am not a person that will feel overly happy when the results aren't there but I won't feel negative about it because I have seen a lot of work in the background, a lot of players trying to take in a new way of playing football and I think with little tweaks here and there we are on the right track as a club and as a team."

City can climb from fifth to second with victory at Bournemouth on Monday.

Kompany, 30, is back in contention after overcoming the knee injury - the latest in a long line of setbacks - suffered at Crystal Palace in November.

He returned to action against Palace in the FA Cup fourth round last month but has been an unused substitutes for the last two victories over West Ham and Swansea.

Kompany said: "I want to stay fit but I want to keep improving. Very few know how many hours I put into coming back every single time.

"I think it is only when people see me back in training they realise, 'he is still running well, he is still mobile, he is still strong'.

"People don't understand you need to fight every single day against what happens when people get injured.

"It gives me a chance to come back into the team, to be in contention and help make a team stronger that is already one of the best in Europe.

"I am there now and I want to stay in this team as long as I can, I really enjoy it."

Bournemouth were beaten 6-3 on their last outing at Everton but Guardiola is taking nothing for granted against Eddie Howe's Cherries.

Guardiola said: "Every game is completely different. Bournemouth are a tough, tough team. All the players are so aggressive. I admire my colleague (Howe) and think it will be a tough game."

Guardiola has selection decisions to make over whether to restore Claudio Bravo in goal in place of Willy Caballero and whether to recall top scorer Sergio Aguero in attack. Aguero has been on the bench for the last two league games while new signing Gabriel Jesus has impressed.

Guardiola has also revealed his recent decisions to leave Kompany on the bench have been tactical rather than because of a need to ease the injury-plagued defender back into action.

He said: "The reason why he didn't play, like Nico Otamendi, against Swansea was because we knew Fernando Llorente was going to mark Yaya Toure, so our central defenders would be free without the ball and we needed two guys with good build-up.

"We knew that we were going to defend far away from our box and they were not going to use too much counter-attacking. That's why it was not necessary to have central defenders in the box defending a lot of crosses.

"But Vincent, I'm so delighted and happy he's back because I know how well he can play and of course we are going to use him in some special games."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph