Vincent Kompany prepared for ‘different’ Man City reception
Vincent Kompany is not expecting much of a welcome on the pitch when he returns to the Etihad Stadium with Burnley for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City.
Kompany’s statue stands outside the Etihad after he won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups in 11 seasons before moving to Anderlecht to begin his coaching career in 2019.
His Burnley side will make the short trip down the M66 full of confidence, on their way to an instant return to the Premier League as they sit 13 points clear at the top of the Championship and showing the sort of form which has led Pep Guardiola to call Kompany a future City boss.
But while he will tell his players to look forward to Saturday, Kompany fully understands the challenge in front of them.
“They’re trying to win the Champions League, we’re trying to win the Championship,” Kompany said. “All things considered, we don’t have to put too much pressure on ourselves, but still have the desire to get something from the game.
“Sometimes in these types of games, the result is one thing and we all want to win, but many teams come to the Etihad and try to win. I shouldn’t have, but I looked at the record of Championship teams going to the Etihad and it’s not great.”
Kompany may not want to spend too long looking at Burnley’s own record against City – they have lost 10 in a row by an aggregate score of 34-1, and before a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad in October 2021, the Clarets lost their last four trips to City 5-0.
“We’ve got to get something out of this game, hopefully a result, but there is so much more for us to get out of the game,” Kompany added.
“The main focus is getting the best performance and then we’ll see.”
The last time the Belgian was in east Manchester in a competitive capacity, his stunning 25-yard strike gave City a vital victory over Leicester to put them within one win of the Premier League title in 2019.
He can be sure of a rapturous reception when he takes his seat in the opposing dugout, but Kompany said he would keep his emotions in check.
He said: “It’s the first time (going back) so it’s obviously going to be different, but in terms of my mindset it’s not different.
“It’s just to do my job, be prepared. The core message for us is be prepared. I don’t have a feeling I need to do anything other than give the one per cent extra to the team.
“I am extremely grateful for every moment I’ve been able to experience at Manchester City but I have to approach this game in the same way I approached every game at Manchester City, which is to do my job and live for that.”
The FA Cup was the first trophy Kompany won with City, with their success in 2011 providing the platform for the Premier League title that followed under Roberto Mancini a year later and all that has come since.
“I remember the first time we won it we celebrated like we’d won the league, there were some crazy scenes,” Kompany said.
“I think this trophy always meant more than any other domestic cup competition in the world.
“It feels like it’s harder to win it. Being where we are in the quarter-finals is obviously a very good achievement for us to be in those big games and have a chance to just compete at that level.”