Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FERNANDINHO WANTS TO BE A PRIDE FIGHTER ; Blues' Brazilian Midfield Star Believes Derby Bragging Rights Would Give City the Title Edge

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FERNANDINHO WANTS TO BE A PRIDE FIGHTER ; Blues' Brazilian Midfield Star Believes Derby Bragging Rights Would Give City the Title Edge

Article excerpt

FERNANDINHO has pinpointed next week's Manchester derby as the match which could "change everything" in the title race.

And if the Blues go to Old Trafford and win, the amiable Brazilian ace admits he may well be up for a hug or two if he bumps into any City fans on the streets of Manchester in the days following the game!

Fernandinho, one of the stars of City's magnificent ten-man victory at Hull, stresses that no one at the club is looking beyond the Etihad Stadium clash with bottom side Fulham on Saturday - the Blues have already been bitten by games against so-called struggling teams.

But, when asked about the significance of the meeting of Manchester's big two, he says it stands above the derbies he played in Brazil and Ukraine, and that the next one has extra meaning.

"That game can change everything," he said. "I hope our team will be ready and we can walk the streets without any problems and that our fans can give us some hugs afterwards!

"When you win these games, you can walk down the street, but not when you lose."

City may need to win to keep the pressure on Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal at the top, while United will be seeking to restore pride after a hurtful 3-0 defeat by the Merseysiders last weekend. "Both teams will be motivated," sad Fernandinho, who was attending the launch of City in the Community's new "Road Show" project. "They have a lot of things to be motivated about, and we are motivated about the title race. I think the game will be beautiful - I just hope we play very well.

"The derby is important for the players, the fans and the city, and of course it will be special for everyone.

I played in derbies in Brazil and Ukraine, but this one is special - I don't know why, but it feels different.

"But right now we need to think just about Fulham, to beat them at home and play well, so we can take some confidence into next Tuesday against United. …

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