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De Bruyne hoping to build on previous experience

Kevin De Bruyne has urged Man City to build-on last year’s experience in the Champions League.

The Blues reached the semi-finals for the first time in the 2015/16 campaign, falling to Real Madrid with a 1-0 aggregate defeat.

Pep Guardiola’s men face Monaco in this season’s last 16 and De Bruyne wants his side to take heart from their previous European adventure.

“Last year was a great step for the team,” he stated.

“We want to be in the latter Champions League stages year after year. That’s what we want to achieve. This team is building on that. We need time to do that.

“People who have to write about us know we have not been in the competition for a long time. The Club took a different direction around ten years ago.

“It is very important for the people who view us to see we are going in the right direction.”

Previewing the clash against the Ligue 1 leaders, he continued: “We know it’s going to be a tough test against an in-form team in France.

“We will do our job. We have to win this round to stay in the Champions League.

“It is not until we reach the semi-finals or the final that people will say we are the same as the big teams.

“People compare us to Man United and Liverpool. You cannot compare us to them because we did not have the time they had in the Champions League. We need the same amount of time.

“For me, it means nothing but for a lot of people in the world, it means a lot. Everybody in England is proud when English teams achieve in Europe. We want a chance to do that. Maybe people will look differently at us.”

When asked of his thoughts on his personal form and manager Guardiola, De Bruyne replied: “I’m very happy.

“I have played very constantly – maybe a little more defensively than I did at the start of the season –  and my position has changed. People are looking at my statistics but as a player for the team, I feel I am doing better than last year.

“I never look at my stats. I know it’s very important for other people. I can see very well how I am playing for the team. We are winning games without me scoring. If we can add a title, I will be very happy.

“My position changes and I have no problem with it. I feel more comfortable in the position I am playing now. I try to do my thing!

“Pep prepares games in detail like no other. He is not going to do something differently against Huddersfield and now against Monaco.

“The most important thing for him is that the team are standing good and performing at the best level.

“He talks with the players about different stuff – not only football but families. He is a very good manager and I think he is doing a good job.

“There can be a week where we talk every day. It depends how it goes – how I’m feeling, how he’s feeling. He can speak with everybody lots of times. We are working almost every day together.”

In recent weeks, De Bruyne has been employed in a midfield three alongside Yaya Toure. He spoke highly of his Ivorian teammate.

“Yaya Toure has been unbelievable since he came back in the game against Crystal Palace,” he declared. “He’s been looking very sharp and he’s doing really well.

“Everybody knows how good Yaya is. He deserves credit.”

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