In the lead up to Wednesday’s game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said that City are ready to face the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and other European elites.
Chatting with Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News, he celebrated the mental obstacles that he and his mates have overcome this season and recognized his side’s maturity in “how to prepare for the games, and how to handle specific situations within the game.”
As a fine representative (in play and in conversation) of the humble philosophy employed by their Catalan trainer, Gundogan mentioned the “long process” of the Champions League gauntlet and an ultimate respect for Gladbach.
Like Guardiola, Gundogan recognizes the extensive challenge ahead. The win against Barcelona earlier this month provided crucial points, credibility, and conviction for City, but the German won’t take it too far. He said, “It's all about having that experience, and we are getting there– there is still a way to go, but we are doing well.”
Immediately after beating Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad, Ilkay praised the team’s ability to dominate. He admitted that a mentality or feeling was more important than explicit tactics as the Etihad’s elite stepped to Messi and Co. with pressure and confidence.
Even when the team lost to 4-0 to Barça at the Nou Camp, he said they believed in themselves. Manifesting this mentality on Wednesday will be essential after a game against Crystal Palace that lacked the standard elements of the team’s best performances.