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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Time in Abu Dhabi will give Manchester City players 'more energy to come back and chase our targets'

Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva talk about benefits of training in warm weather conditions in emirate as they prepare for business end of season, reports John McAuley from Emirates Palace

The Manchester City squad have enjoyed their break in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The Manchester City squad have enjoyed their break in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Manchester City’s players are confident their training camp in Abu Dhabi can set them up for a successful final few months of the season.

The Premier League leaders, 16 points clear at the top with eight matches remaining, arrived in the capital early on Tuesday for a five-day, warm-weather get-together. The team will return to England on Saturday in preparation for the upcoming international break and then resume their domestic campaign on March 31.

Having won the League Cup last month, City remain in the hunt for two more pieces of silverware. They stand only two matches from securing a third league title in six years, while they will next month contest the quarter-finals of the Uefa Champions League.

With the squad enjoying training at Emirates Palace hotel and some down-time in between, in-form winger Leroy Sane said City's Abu Dhabi stay could prove crucial in the search for more trophies this campaign.

"For me, it’s always a good idea to change, if you can do it,” the German said. “Especially if you play in the Premier League. We have so many hard games and to have a break to be in the sun, you can enjoy it a little bit more. We’ve really good conditions to train here.

“Like I said, it’s really good. The whole team agreed to come here and be in good weather. It will give us more energy to come back and chase our targets.”

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City were afforded the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi because of their elimination last month from the FA Cup. They have played 47 matches already this season, and could have another 13 should they progress to a first Champions League final.

The break in the UAE is therefore welcome, particularly considering the majority of the other teams in Friday’s European draw enjoyed extended periods of rest during January. For City midfielder Bernardo Silva, the Abu Dhabi get-together allows the players to get away from the bubble of professional football in England and put it to good use once the season ramps up again after this month’s international commitments.

“It’s important, especially because we didn’t have a winter break like the other countries have,” Silva said.

“And then to recharge the batteries to then go and play the last month and a half of the season with everything we have to try and win the Premier League - and try something special as well in the Champions League.”