Manchester City favourite Fernandinho says he is eager to clinch his first piece of silverware for his new club ahead of Sunday’s Capital One Cup Final.
The Brazilian has been a crucial part of Manuel Pellegrini’s City side since joining in the summer.
His performances have also caught the attention of Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, who has earned him an international recall ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
With victory at Wembley, City could take their first step towards securing a domestic treble, with the Citizens still very much in contention for the league title and the FA Cup.
Sunderland beat City 1-0 when the sides met with last November, with Fernandinho watching on from the stands.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk man, 28, is hoping the outcome is much different this time round.
“In England, each game is difficult,” he told the club website. “I have no doubt that Sunday will be like this against Sunderland and we must be at our best to make sure we get to lift the trophy.
”We have a chance to win the Capital One Cup and we will try to do it – we always want to win every competition we are in and this is a very important tournament.
“It would be a good start for me here in England in my first season, to win the first competition available.”
Meanwhile Black Cats manger Gus Poyet, who won the FA Cup during his playing days with Chelsea, is counting on his experienced players to thrive in the special cup final atmosphere.
“Leaders are important – they have the ability and experience and we count on them heavily,” he told Sunderland’s official website.
“I can tell you this – when you walk out and see the stadium full with all the fans and all the noise, and you’ve never been there, it’s a new situation so it’s going to be a different feeling.
“You can’t prepare yourself for what you’re going to feel when you walk out. Some players will cope within one minute; some will take 15 minutes to settle down.”
Winger Adam Johnson, who helped the Blues to a Premier league title and FA Cup, is keen to spoil his former employer’s party and end Sunderland’s 41 year wait for a trophy.
“Winning this cup final with Sunderland would match anything I achieved at Man City,” he said.
Poyet said that he would be relying on those who have been there and done it, like Johnson, when they take to the field.
“If you’ve got the experience and been there many, many times, it’s easier,” the former Brighton boss stated.
“Those players will be key because of how important they are for us.”
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC, via YouTube, with thanks.