Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany has admitted that their opening pre-season fixture of the 2017/18 season will have an extra edge to it, with City preparing to take on bitter rivals Manchester United in Houston in the first Manchester derby to be played overseas.
Could never play this game as a friendly
Manager Pep Guardiola has already had his team for a week training in Manchester before taking them over the pond to get some matches under their belts, The Citizens are certainly going to be tested in their International Champions Cup run taking on the likes of Real Madrid and Tottenham as well as the clash with José Mourinho's men.
The game in Houston is unique as it is billed as a friendly but it is expected to be far from it as this will bring the two rivals together for the fourth time in less than a year, and Kompany stated in his press conference that he could never play such as a game as a friendly.
"We play against United in a difficult context," the Belgian stated. "As it’s a friendly but never could I play this game as a friendly."
“The main thing is to explore the derby feeling so it will be competitive enough," the 31-year-old added. "But at the same time, we get what we need out of it as it’s pre-season.”
Kompany: I never doubted myself
Kompany has written himself into the club's history since joining the side way back in 2008, leading the club to their first two Premier League titles and a Champions League semi-final. Kompany has always been a player that has been prone to injury and the last two seasons have been rife with them.
The Belgian has been unlucky enough to pick up eight separate injuries in the last two seasons which have seen him miss in the excess of 61 games throughout that time, the defender did begin to return to his old ways in the last embers of the previous campaign and he stated that he never doubted that he would make a return to fitness.
“The main reason I’m still here is because I never doubted myself, not for one second," he said. “Every time I start again, I have the feeling I will never be injured again."
"I’m positive, motivated, and when you play with these kind of players," the skipper stated. "You only have to look at yourself to know if you are at the right level."
“I’ve worked hard, people around me understand me better," Kompany concluded. "Because of this environment, I can look forward to the season and help the team.”