Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has issued a warning to title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal as he talked about how he deals with his and City’s doubters. The treble winners are two points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table, and in prime position for another title with a game in hand on their rivals.
Dias has been instrumental to a team who have won five Premier League games on the bounce, following an underwhelming start to the season by City’s sky-high standards.
“People love to talk and the more you win, the more successful you are as a team and an individual, the more people want to take you down,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “We take it.”
“Please make noise around us because it will just make it bigger every time we win again. That’s purely how I take it. There has been a noise before and people love the scenario of us not making it but we love doing it.
“We are in a very difficult place precisely because we did the treble last season. It makes it most difficult to keep those levels up and I am not talking about a treble, I’m talking about winning trophies again.
“We want this club to grow not just for a few seasons but for throughout time and the consistency with which we keep winning is what makes a club as big as it can be.
“There’s nothing in our minds saying ‘we’ve won a treble, we are so good, it’s going to be easy now’. It is exactly the opposite; it’s going to be more difficult. There is going to be more hatred and more people trying to take us down and there are going to be more opponents. We take it as it is because this is the normal process of winning. We will be ready for it.”
The centre-back also detailed how City so often come strong in the New Year. Dias added: “We know what we crave at this moment of the season. It is like any other sport, you drive to survive for a little bit and then you know that little bit will define everything and that’s when the adrenaline comes.
“This is what we are here for, to be alive at this stage and now to do what we do best. In terms of motivation, since I arrived at this club this is the one thing where I most felt the difference from many other teams – teams I’ve been in and other teams I’ve heard about.
“You know that you are going to have people by your side who want the same as you so that mentality has been decisive over the last few years. We know what we have to do to win again.
“We know we have to demand those high standards because when you drop them things get blurry and it’s not so sure that you are able to win again. We have won a lot in the last few years and we know how much we have to push ourselves to keep those standards.”
Man City face Everton at the Etihad on Saturday, with kick-off at 12.30pm on TNT Sports.