Thursday, March 23, 2017

Manchester City must be mentally strong, says embattled Bravo

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jan 2017

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Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo wants his team-mates to draw on reserves of mental strength to get their Premier League campaign back on track.

City were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, despite taking a two-goal lead as Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne benefited from errors by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris early in the second half.

Dele Alli and substitute Son Heung-min bailed out the France international by beating his opposite number Bravo, earning a point for Mauricio Pochettino’s men in a game where they were second-best for long periods.

Pep Guardiola’s City remain fifth in the Premier League, outside the Champions League qualification places and 12 points shy of leaders Chelsea.

“It’s not a good feeling, looking at how things developed,” Bravo told City’s official website.

“We had everything to win the game, but it’s the same old story: we had troubles creating [taking] chances and the other team, with less options, get the goals.

“We must be mentally strong. We must keep working hard, keep believing in what we’re doing. It’s the only recipe.”

Many believe Bravo himself could be a rogue ingredient in this City side and, on the back of last weekend’s 4-0 loss at Everton, Alli and Son’s goals meant he has conceded from 16 of the past 24 shots on target he has faced – including each of the last six.

On this occasion, it was certainly unfair to apportion blame to the Chile international, who has struggled to settle into his position as Joe Hart’s successor.

Bravo’s role as a keeper who can help to build attacks from the back has been well documented and he believes City’s commitment to a methodical passing style under Guardiola will yield results.

“We must always fight,” he added. “Now we have had this downturn, but it can also happen to other teams. It’s the magic of the Premier League, anyone competes with you and can take points off you,” he said.

“We must firmly believe in our convictions and, more than ever, that our game will take us to win many things.”

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