winning. You never look at the situation and say ‘we’re this many points clear so we can afford to lose a game and draw one or two’. It’s about winning and making sure you don’t drop any points. That’s always been the mentality here and our approach is always to win.
Is last season’s disappointment hovering in your mind as a warning?
Obviously what happened last year was a big disappointment, but as a footballer having the chance to win the Premier League title should be enough to drive you on regardless. I’m sure City will look at what happened last season and still believe they have a chance, so we have to make sure we don’t take any games lightly and that we try to win every game we go into. What happened last season was a terrible disappointment for us and it’s our aim to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.
Presumably the manager will not allow any kind of lapse in focus anyway?
No, definitely not. We have regular team meetings and he speaks to a lot of players individually too, especially some of the younger lads. And his team-talks are brilliant. They really inspire you. It doesn’t matter that we might be a few points clear of other teams, he never lets you feel like that before a match because he wants us to keep going and maintain that lead.
Bar the odd injury, the majority of the squad have been fit in recent weeks – that’s a huge advantage at this stage of the campaign, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s great. We’ve had quite a few injuries at this stage of the season in past years, which has made things tough. Having players fit now is very important because it gives the manager so many options at a time when there are a lot of big matches. If he needs to rest a few players and bring others in he can do that. Hopefully everyone can stay fit between now and the end of the season.