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‘We can cope without Agüero’

20th August 2012

• I hope Sergio will not be out for long, says City captain
• ‘We coped with these issues and did it very well last season’

Vincent Kompany has shrugged off the potential loss of Sergio Agüero for a few weeks with a knee injury by pointing to how Manchester City won the title last season without Carlos Tevez for much of it. While Tevez’s absence was due to his falling out with the manager, Agüero is awaiting a second scan on an injury suffered in Manchester City’s 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, following a tackle by Nathaniel Clyne.

“We lost Sergio, which was sort of a blow, but I just go back to when we lost Carlos for most of the season and coped well with that,” Kompany said. “I hope Sergio won’t be out for that long [eight months] but I would point to last season where we had to cope with these kind of issues and we did it very well. If we have to, I’m sure we will again.”

On Sunday evening Agüero offered some hope in a tweet that said there was “no significant injury”, although this may prove wishful thinking as he underwent a second scan on Monday. With Tevez scoring against Southampton and apparently focused after last season’s travails, Kompany said: “I don’t want to speculate too much about Sergio because I don’t know if he is going to be out for any length of time, but having Carlos at his best level is obviously a big bonus for us. He is one of the best strikers in the world. People talk about new signings, but to have Carlos back to his best means we are better than we were last season, so we have strengthened.”

Kompany believes the steeliness in Roberto Mancini’s side was evident in the fashion they fought back after falling behind in the second half. “I can say I never thought we would lose,” he said. “I can’t explain why but when we were 2-1 down I still knew we would go on and win the game, and it turned out that way.

“I’m very happy to see we have that strength of character and belief in our team. Southampton did very well. They defended very well when they had to but tried to play when they could. They didn’t just sit back – that’s how they hurt us. We made a tactical mistake but it won’t happen again. We have to respect Southampton’s performance and overall we are happy to get away with a victory.”

City’s next match is at Liverpool on Sunday, a fixture which they drew last season. “Playing at Anfield is always intense and we expect a difficult match,” the captain added. “It will be a game where they fancy their chances but we fancy ours too, so it will be an interesting match and an even contest.“We had two hard-fought matches at Anfield last year and drew twice [also in the Carling Cup]. The point in the league helped us to win the title so it will be a game that could go either way


Regarding retaining the title, to join Chelsea and United as the only clubs who have managed to do so in the Premier League era, Kompany said: “We know we have to face a battle every time we play and I believe it will be an even contest in the challenge for the title this season. If someone wants to call themselves favourites, that’s fine with me. It will be a difficult title to retain but I can assure you we are up for the challenge. Being champions might change the perception of our club from the outside, but for the team it’s just a case of winning as many games as we can and see where it takes us.”

Jack Rodwell, the £15m arrival from Everton, made a debut that was spoiled by his giving the ball away to Adam Lallana in the move that led to Steve Davis 67th-minute goal for Southampton. “Jack has settled in very well,” Kompany added. “I’m sure he’ll be an asset to our team and I think this game was the right time to bring him in with Liverpool coming up next week.” © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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