EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

"Every game is like a cup final for us - we have to fight in every minute of every match. We know it’s in our hands and we have to make sure we make the advantage we have count."

- Antonio Valencia

19/03/2013 09:00, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Valencia eyes final flourish

How big is the desire within the squad to win the title back?
The desire amongst the lads to win the league is huge – we really couldn’t be any more determined. We do not want a repeat of last season. Every game is like a cup final for us - we have to fight in every minute of every match. We know it’s in our hands and we have to make sure we make the advantage we have count.

How would you sum up your season on a personal front?
It’s not been quite the season I would have hoped for on a personal front. I think the injuries I’ve had have held me back a bit. I still get the odd twinge from the last injury I had to my leg and that has perhaps affected my progress slightly. That isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed the season because I have very much.

Do you feel you have an important part to play between now and the end of May?
I hope so. I hope I get the chance to be involved in as many games as possible and if I’m picked I’m determined to grab my opportunities and do my best for my team-mates, the manager and the fans.

You made a clean sweep at the Player of the Year awards last year – which of your team-mates gets your vote this season?
It’s a difficult choice. So many players have had a great season but there are four or five players who have really stood out, but I can’t reveal where my vote will go yet! [Laughs]. The great thing for us is we’ve had so many players playing well and hopefully everyone can continue to maintain those high standards between now and May.

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