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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Man City in Abu Dhabi: Bernardo Silva on his debut season and hopes to clinch title against Man United

The Portuguese midfielder also discussed in Abu Dhabi the club's dominant season, adjusting to life in England and the side's Uefa Champions League prospects

Bernardo Silva, centre, takes part in training in Abu Dhabi for Manchester City. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Bernardo Silva, centre, takes part in training in Abu Dhabi for Manchester City. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Bernardo Silva's debut year with Manchester City has been one to remember for the Portuguese midfielder.

Since signing from Monaco last summer he has helped Pep Guardiola's side dominate the Premier League, reach the last eight of the Uefa Champions League and win the League Cup.

The 23 year old spoke to reporters on Thursday during Manchester City's warm-weather training camp about adjusting to English football, hopes of winning the title against City's rivals Manchester United and the challenge of playing on the wing for the team and what he looks to offer in the role.

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How have you enjoyed your first season of English football?

"I am enjoying it a lot. It is a good season to be a Man City player or supporter. It has been fantastic so far and we want to keep it that way. We always try to win the games. We will try to finish the Premier League as soon as we can. We have already won the Carabao Cup, which was an important competition for us and then the Champions League. Everyone knows it is a different competition, a special one, but we will try to do our best."

On adapting to England

"When you change it is always complicated. As I have said many times before when I moved from Portugal to Monaco it was difficult for the first month. Now when I move from Monaco to Manchester it is difficult as well. You have to adapt and you have to adapt as well to the way the team plays as every team plays in a different way. I am feeling better and better and I hope I can improve even more. I have learnt a lot of things with all the staff and players and it has been fantastic for me."

On if the squad is focused on the chance to break records such as most goals and most points in a Premier League season

"Honestly, we don't think much about that. What we really want is to win the Premier League. That is the most important thing. It doesn't matter how. But of course if you can win it and break a few records it is even more special so we will try to do that."

On City's 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League

"It is true that this season the gap is a little bit bigger than usual. But it is good for us. It means we are doing a fantastic job and I think the way we have played this seven or eight months until now it is well deserved the position we have in the league and hopefully we can the title as soon as we can."

On what scoring against Manchester United would mean to him having already netted against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool this season

"It would mean a lot. Especially because if we beat Everton away [on March 31], and that is a very complicated game as well, we can try and win the title against them [on April 7 at the Etihad Stadium] with our fans so that would be very special. So of course if I can score against United and help the team win the game it will be fantastic."

On City's Uefa Champions League chances

"I think we are capable of it. I have said it as well that we are not favourites. Real Madrid and Barcelona, because they have more experience in this kind of stages, they have a bit of an advantage. But Man City can win the Premier League as well and have a lot of fantastic players and a team that plays together in a way that can try and win this kind of competition."

On offering something different to Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane

"Obviously I am very different from them. They are very fast players that can take one or two players in a few of seconds and can kill a game as well. I try to offer different things as you said. The manager helps me every day to learn and to see what I can do to help the team. Sometimes cut inside, sometimes stay out wide. I try to do my best."

On whether he sees himself playing in a No 10 role in future for City

"In the long run I see myself whatever is best for the team, honestly. Obviously when you have players like Kevin [de Bruyne], David [Silva] and [Ilkay] Gundogan who can play in those positions it is difficult to find space. but yeah, I did all my formation as a player since seven until 19 playing in the middle, so playing in those positions, so I am used to that."

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