Kompany relishing busy month at City
Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City's tough January schedule will bring the best out of him and his team-mates. Manager Roberto Mancini has voiced concern at the upcoming programme, which begins with a trip to Sunderland on New Year's Day and a clash with Liverpool three days later. City then face arch-rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup third round, and also have a two-legged League Cup semi-final against Liverpool and further dates with Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur before the end of the month.
Kompany said: "Personally, I love it. I am looking forward to that month, knowing that every game is going to be a big game.
"It is something that usually makes me raise my personal level and makes the team raise their level. We are a team capable of doing good things on big occasions. For us that is maybe not a bad thing."
Mancini is likely to make constant changes as he navigates his way through the games in order to maintain City's Premier League title challenge. Kompany can see the Italian's point of view, but concedes players do not always think that way.
The 25-year-old said: "The game is powerful, pacy and when you finish a game it takes time to recover. That is the reality of things.
"I always think that players who get the chance to rest are probably more protected against injuries. But we are all individuals that love the game first of all. Just like the fans want to see a lot of games, we want to play a lot.
"In my case, the more I am in a stadium and less on a training pitch, the better it is. But I absolutely understand the concerns of people who are probably thinking what is the best for us."
City now lead the Premier League only on goal difference after being held to a goalless draw at West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day. That was an undoubted setback for the ambitious club, who led the table by five points at the start of December, but Kompany is not overly concerned.
"It doesn't matter at all," said the City captain and Belgium defender. "The league is still very long.
"We could be behind or in front, but we still have the belief we can go on and win the next game and the game after. That is the important thing."