Monday 22 July 2013
Vincent Kompany says he and his Manchester City team-mates are excited to have arrived in Hong Kong and will be looking to step up their preparation for the new Barclays Premier League season by being competitive in the forthcoming Barclays Asia Trophy.
"This tournament is important – it comes at a stage where we want to know where we are at"
City will start the tournament against Hong Kong champions South China on 24 July and Kompany will be hoping to lead his team to a first win on pre-season, having lost twice while in South Africa last week.
"We have worked really hard with hard training sessions in South Africa and we are getting into the rhythm but it would be nice to get some good results," Kompany, the City captain, said. "This tournament is important in the sense that we are still preparing for the season and it comes at a stage where we want to know where we are at. Our priority is for training but we will still be competitive for this tournament and for the rest of the season."
Kompany is looking forward to welcoming the three new signings that City have made this summer who will join the squad for the first time in Hong Kong. Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic all flew in to Hong Kong after their new team-mates and will meet them ahead of training this evening. Kompany is hoping that the arrivals will boost City's attempts to regain the Barclays Premier League title they won in 2011/12.
"We have played a big part in the transfer market so far," Kompany said. "There was a bit of a gap between us and the champions last season and we are doing everything to bridge that. It will be a good season and I am sure the other teams will be competitive. It’s good to have these new players coming.
"We will do everything we can to make them feel at home and give them a warm welcome. They are important players for us this season. We needed strengthening and we have done that. We are a team that can look forward and say that we can compete on every front."
For Brian Kidd, City's assistant manager, the arrivals of Negredo and Jovetic were essential to bolstering a depleted forward line for the season ahead.
"The Barclays Asia Trophy is renowned as a great tournament and it will be a great competition to play in"
"They look really exciting players and you need four strikers in the Premier League and the Champions League and we have an exciting player in Jesus Navas as well," Kidd said.
Asked whether the new signings would put extra pressure on City to win the Barclays Premier League title, Kompany said it would not just be his team where there are expectations of being champions next season.
"You could ask this question of pressure to five or six clubs, which is why the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world," he said. "It is not enough to just spend the money, because a lot of clubs do that. It will take something special.
"We are just trying to do everything we can in the preparation. Buying new players is one thing but the way we have prepared is really good so far. We are doing everything we can to be one of the teams that can compete for every trophy."
Kidd was confident that City had in place the players to regain the title. "I wouldn’t swap our squad for any in the Premier League," he said.
The weather in Hong Kong will represent a challenge to City that varies from what they experienced in South Africa, but Kompany is hoping the humidity will speed up the preparation for the season ahead.
"It'll be different to what we are used to, but in a way it is part of what pre-season should be," the Belgian said. "It should be harder and more demanding for us, but that way you get more out of it. So it will be good."
Kidd, who is taking charge of the team until new manager Manuel Pellegrini returns from Chile, where he went on a personal matter, is looking forward to the competition starting, when City take on South China.
"The lads have trained really well so they are looking forward to it," Kidd said. "The Barclays Asia Trophy is renowned as a great tournament and it will be a great competition to play in."
A limited number of tickets are still available for semi-finals day and can be bought here.