The defender has talked up the mental toughness in Pep Guardiola’s squad ahead of their semi-final showdown with Paris Saint-Germain
John Stones says Manchester City are using their past failures as fuel for motivation in their bid to win the 2020-21 Champions League.
City put one foot in their first-ever European final by beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their last-four tie at Parc des Princes last week.
Pep Guardiola had previously been unable to take his team beyond the quarter-finals, with painful early exits suffered at the hands of Monaco, Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon, but Stones says they have learned from their mistakes in the competition.
What’s been said?
The City defender told the pre-match press conference: “I do think with all the things that have happened have made us a stronger team, the disappointment of getting knocked out in harsh circumstances is hard to take so we’ve had to use it, especially this season, as fuel to motivate us.
“Push forward to take the next step and get our goal to win the Champions League. This season we’ve got a great chance to get to the final, hopefully we can do it. Just use the emotions of disappointment to motivate us to do better in seasons like this one.”
Can Man City afford to lose the second leg?
City gained a huge upper hand in their clash with PSG by netting two away goals, which leaves the French champions needing to score at least twice at Etihad Stadium to reach the final.
If the Manchester outfit lose 1-0 they will still go through, meaning there is a small margin for error for Guardiola’s side to fall back on, but Stones has promised that they will be going all out for another victory on home soil.
“I think we have to attack the game like every other game, to win. We’ve never gone into a game thinking the job’s done or we need to defend,” he said.
“It’s a downward spiral if we go into the game like that. We need to be who we are to win and play as Man City as everyone knows how we play. We’re excited for that and fully focused for the game in hand.”
Who is awaiting City or PSG in the final?
The winner of the tie will be rewarded with a meeting with either Real Madrid or Chelsea in the final, which is set to take place at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 29.
An all-English showpiece could be on the cards if City progress, with Chelsea also currently in pole position to qualify after earning a 1-1 draw in their first leg of their semi-final tie with Madrid in Spain.