Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi believes his side can continue on the path to Premier League glory without captain Vincent Kompany.
The Belgium international has suffered a string of calf injuries that have hampered his season.
Kompany has missed 16 matches this season and City has only managed one clean sheet in his absence – in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Leicester City.
Otamendi arrived at City in August and can already see Kompany’s importance to the side, but said Manuel Pellegrini had the depth to cover his absence.
“It’s always sad news when a team-mate gets injured, especially this year with Vinny picking up several injuries,” he said.
“He gives us all his experience, personality and character on the pitch and is a big loss.
“It’s a pity as he is a really important player for us and plays a key role in defence. But we have other options, other players who can play in this position.
“Recently myself and [Eliaquim] Mangala have played together and we always focus on that clean sheet. I am three years older than him, but Mangala and the rest of my colleagues have a lot of international experience, plus Champions League and other European experience.
“I always try to show my confidence in my team-mates when I am on the pitch, to be focused with them and try to keep the clean sheet. When we keep that clean sheet, it’s up to the players up front to then do the business.”
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