Warring City's progress this season will mean nothing if we don't win the title, says skipper Kompany
Published 22:30 02/04/12 By David McDonnell
Vincent Kompany says Manchester City’s progress this season will be no consolation if they miss out on the title.
City are looking like handing the title to local rivals Manchester United after heading the Premier League for much of the season.
Roberto Mancini’s side are in meltdown, with players pointing the finger of blame at each other for their implosion in the title run-in.
Mario Balotelli clashed with team-mates during City’s 3-3 draw with Sunderland, which saw City lose vital ground on leaders United.
Mancini’s own position is under scrutiny, amid claims he could be on his way at the end of the season if City fail to win the title.
City’s medical staff are also under the spotlight for the treatment that has kept top scorer Sergio Aguero out of their last two games.
Mancini delivered an oblique criticism of them after it emerged Aguero had been sidelined by an allergic reaction to an anti-freeze spray.
Against that calamitous backdrop, City skipper Kompany said trophies are the now only barometer of success for the world’s richest club.
City finished fifth in 2010, third last season and are likely to finish no worse than second this term, but Kompany said that was not enough.
“It’s all about winning trophies ultimately,” said Kompany. “That’s the only thing we want.
“Not just one trophy, but everything, and that’s what we have to play for every single year, and we’re getting the club to that stage.
“For three or four years now we have always improved, this year we’ve improved again. Hopefully we can win the title.
“If not, which I don’t count on, we’ll be there, we’ll keep improving next season and it should be there soon.
“With what we have shown at home for the past year or more, we can be disappointed [with the Sunderland result].
“For two or three days everyone is gong to be disappointed, everyone will feel as if we have lost it.
“But in the next three or four days we’re going to start believing again, because there’s no other choice.”
Mancini has come in for criticism of his tactics and approach in recent weeks, with City taking just five points from a possible 12.
But Kompany defended the Italian, saying: “He’s very clear in what he brings across to the players, always positive.
“Ultimately he gives tactical advice, because we need to know where to stand.
“We didn’t do too well [against Sunderland] but we need to play in a way we can dismantle the other team and usually it works well.
“When you play with great players like this, you feel there will always be a moment when they can make something happen.
“But the reality is that you have to work hard for it and for long parts [against Sunderland] we didn’t do enough.
“The disappointment is there, but I’ll be the first one back at the training ground to get their heads back up because we have to believe.”
City could find themselves eight points behind United by the time they play Arsenal on Sunday, a gap Mancini deemed too big to bridge.
Despite that, Kompany said City’s players will continue to give their all to win the title and the Manchester derby on April 30.
“As soon as the fixtures list came out you realised that game was going to be a very important one,” said Kompany.
“A derby is a derby, whether we’re playing for the title or whether it’s a friendly.
“It’s always important and we’re going to play it that way, in that there will be no difference [in our approach].
“But I would like to stress the fact it shows we have made a lot of progress, the fact we’re playing to win the league.
“I joined the club three years ago and it’s a massive step forward.
“I look to the future and it’s not going to be long [before City win the title], I can guarantee this.”