Date: 18th March 2015 at 4:41pm
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A few players have been in front of the cameras in the build up to tonight’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Barcelona – and they remain hopeful of progression.

I’ll start with David Silva who is quoted on the Official Site simply because it’s the window I have open in front of me.

Fresh from the Burnley defeat and a total dip in consistency again, Silva knows this is the biggest game of our season so far but he didn’t quite go as far as calling it season defining.

‘Everybody wrote Schalke off before they played Real Madrid but they won 4-3 and could have scored again which would have put them through – nobody predicted that. Not many thought PSG could beat Chelsea, especially with only ten men for so long so I know that everything can happen, not only in the Champions League but in every game. Everyone is expecting Barca to go through but hopefully we can give a strong performance.’

To make that happen though we need to be back to our best defensively and offensively and both are an issue again of late.

‘We need this kind of mentality we showed in those games (Bayern Munich & Roma). The most important thing is not to concede a goal because obviously things then become more difficult. We played well in the second leg against Barca last season and played with freedom so we will see.’

Pablo Zabaleta was singing from the same hymnsheet as well in terms of anything being possible in football, but for that to happen we have to be back to our best.

‘Mentally we must be very focused. If you look at the game Real Madrid played against Schalke and the same with Chelsea and PSG, it shows anything can happen in football. That`s why we need to go to Barcelona with confidence with belief and try to do our best to win that game.’

Zabaleta goes on to say it’s a competition we have been involved with for four years and we want to progress and we want to do better and although we have given ourselves a mountain to climb, the aim is to climb that mountain.

‘We`ve played in this competition for four years. It`s a competition we want to make progress in. Now we`re going to play against one of the best teams in the world. It`s not going to be easy – but nothing is impossible in football. You have to be ready for these moments.’

For Frank Lampard, he said in the build up to the game that he didn’t feel it was a bad thing that City had already been written off because it should mean, going in as underdogs, that there is no pressure on us.

‘There`s nothing wrong with been written off. We`re certainly still in the tie though if it had been 3-1 or 4-1 in their favour, it would be a bit more understandable. I`ve been in too many games like this where you don`t perform in one game but it`s a complete turnaround in the second leg. Make no bones about it – Barcelona are obviously favourites; they`re ahead 2-1 and they are at home so they have the advantage, but we have the quality at this club to turn this game around.’

Lampard adds that tonight what is key for us is to just play that game that is in front of us, and not think about how many goals we need or anything like that. Focus on the performance, focus on doing what we can and then come full time we’ll see if it was enough.

‘Our general principle going into the game is to win it and try and score the goals we need so we`ll take all that on board. Is it a smart move to go all-out attack at the Nou Camp? I`m not so sure but I`m sure we`re good enough and smart enough to go into the match with the right attitude to win. We shouldn`t think about the amount of goals we need on the night because you can become quite desperate, but if we perform as we can trying to play attacking football while defending very well, the goals will hopefully come as a consequence.’

Ending with Fernandinho, his message was simple and on point.

We need the game of our lives.

‘Our intention is to go to the Nou Camp and win – it`s the only option we have, but to do so we must play in a compact way that prevents giving Barca too much space. Last week, there were two teams that played with character away from home and our intentions are the same. Schalke and PSG played great football, and our team can probably be inspired by these two teams and their results – maybe it can help a little bit. But more important than that is to make sure we do our job, play our game, play against Barcelona on the same level and try to win.’

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