‘I don’t think I am being missed in midfield’: Fernandinho dismisses claims his positional change is behind Manchester City struggles
- Fernandinho insists that his role change hasn’t hindered Manchester City
- Brazilian has been used in defence rather than midfield and City have struggled
- Fernandinho admits City’s recent struggles have been difficult for the players
Fernandinho has insisted Manchester City‘s dodgy recent form isn’t down to his positional change from the centre of midfield.
The 34-year-old Brazilian has been used as an emergency centre-half by Pep Guardiola to cover for the departure of Vincent Kompany and injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.
Fernandinho has dismissed claims that his move into defence has hindered Manchester City
City have won only two of their last five league games, a drop in standards considering they amassed 198 points in their previous couple of seasons.
Fingers have been pointed at the midfield where they seemed to lack Fernandinho’s energy in the derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend. But the player denies his absence there has weakened the team.
‘The job you do at the back is so important as you help to defend and attack,’ he says. ‘The culture is that whoever scores goals gets the spotlight but it depends on everyone.
‘You have to protect your defensive line and when you have the ball try to give to give players in front the ball to attack and create chances.
The Brazilian has admitted that many recent results have been difficult for City to deal with
‘I don’t think I am being missed in midfield. Rodri is playing really well there. Of course, we are a little bit different but he’s doing really well.
‘In general the team plays well, the detail made the difference last week and of course we have to improve and react as soon as possible, and we have an opportunity on Sunday.’
City’s high standards mean every defeat is seen as a crisis and a home loss to United is particularly galling.
‘It’s been really tough, really hard for us,’ admits Fernandinho. ‘If you take the statistics, we were better, in control of the game, but the result counts in the end. We have to go again. It’s our opportunity to show it was an accident against United.
‘We conceded two easy goals and it makes the game more difficult for us. We couldn’t find a way to react.
‘Arsenal like to play football, we like to play football. It will be a nice game for the fans.’
Fernandinho insists that City have to first think about Leicester rather than leaders Liverpool
Guardiola has tried to be sanguine about City’s drop-off this season compared to Liverpool, particularly with top scorer Sergio Aguero out injured and David Silva a doubt for The Emirates.
‘When I arrived in England, 85 points was the standard to win the title. Now you have to reach almost 100 points. We helped Liverpool make this step and now it’s the level you need.
‘I would have preferred to be closer to Liverpool. Maybe we thought after four titles one season, we believed something we are not. The reality of sport is to make you (win) again and again. Sometimes you have to live it.
‘There isn’t a thought in my mind about Liverpool. It is far away. First we have to think about Leicester (in second).
‘It helps Liverpool (motivation) that they haven’t won this trophy for a long time. They will smell it now.’
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