De Bruyne eyes golden City era

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Kevin De Bruyne says Manch­ester City are ready to reign supreme in the Premier League for years to come un­der the as­tute lead­er­ship of Pep Guardi­ola.

City were con­firmed as English cham­pi­ons on Sun­day with a record-equalling five games to spare af­ter Manch­ester United crashed to a shock 1-0 de­feat against strug­gling West Bromwich Al­bion.

Bel­gium mid­fielder De Bruyne has been one of the stand­out play­ers in City’s record-break­ing cam­paign, but he knows Guardi­ola was the master­mind be­hind their tri­umph.

City’s top pri­or­ity in the close-sea­son will be se­cur­ing the ser­vices of for­mer Bay­ern Mu­nich and Barcelona chief Guardi­ola, who also led his team to League Cup glory in Fe­bru­ary, for longer than the one year re­main­ing on his con­tract.

“Every­one knows he’s one of the best coaches in the world. To achieve what he has achieved in the game is spe­cial and to be part of a group of play­ers led by him can only help us to keep de­vel­op­ing,” De Bruyne said.

“He came in two years ago and changed the way we play. That ob­vi­ously takes time to adapt to but we’ve de­vel­oped to­gether and this sea­son is a re­ward for all that work.

“What we want to do now is con­tinue play­ing the way we have this sea­son and be­come even stronger. He’s a big part of that and hope­fully these can be his first tro­phies of many here at City.”

Backed by City’s Abu Dhabi-based own­ers, Guardi­ola has spent big money to bol­ster his squad and more re­in­force­ments are likely to ar­rive be­fore next sea­son.

But De Bruyne be­lieves the cur­rent City squad is al­ready well placed to build on this sea­son’s achieve­ments.

“It’s no co­in­ci­dence that the type of play­ers brought in over the last year or two have all been of a sim­i­lar age and we will look to build as a group to­gether. The feel­ing among the squad is great,” he said.

“We have en­joyed the sea­son a lot but there is work to do if we want to achieve more in fu­ture. That can be the trick­i­est thing in foot­ball, to not only win but keep win­ning. Hav­ing such a young squad will hope­fully help us to achieve that.”

City mid­fielder Ilkay Gun­do­gan also be­lieves the foun­da­tions are in place for sus­tained suc­cess.

The Ger­many in­ter­na­tional, who had been back in his home­land watch­ing for­mer club Borus­sia Dort­mund play Schalke when he learned he was a Premier League win­ner, said: “Al­though some of our play­ers have won it be­fore, it’s our first ti­tle as a group of play­ers un­der the new man­ager.

“We have de­vel­oped to­gether and there is a lot of po­ten­tial. What we all have to do now is to work hard and be­lieve in our abil­ity to keep suc­ceed­ing.”

REUTERS

Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola, left, gives in­struc­tions to mid­fielder Kevin De Bruyne dur­ing a re­cent match.

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