Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says he is already looking to next season as the Premier League title slips away.
The City skipper has told his team-mates to finish 2012/13 on a high to set themselves up for a strong campaign next year, acknowledging their attempts to retain their crown are all but over.
City, who trail league leaders United by 15 points, face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on April 14 and Kompany is hoping to end the season with some silverware.
“I feel there is still a lot to look forward to, and whichever way we finish this season might set us up for the next one,” he told The Manchester Evening News.
“I always remember the way we finished the season when we won the FA Cup. We finished on equal points with Chelsea, which was a massive boost for us, we secured a place in the Champions League and won the FA Cup.
“The year after that we went on to win the title. The end of one season has an impact on how you start the next one.”
The Belgium international has been absent for two months with a calf injury he picked up in the FA Cup tie against Stoke in January, a problem area that has affected him over the past 12 months.
The 26-year-old admitted that he has found it difficult to watch City fall further behind neighbours United in the title race, and was frustrated by his lack of involvement.
“It is very difficult to watch. I am more nervous when I don’t play than when I do,” Kompany said.
“But it is always important as a group for everyone to take responsibility. Everybody is able to do something, even when you are not playing, but collectively it is disappointing.”