Marc Skinner’s Q&A: Manchester City (H)

You’ve just mentioned the fans there. It is a sell-out this weekend. How important are they going to be?
“They’re going to be huge. 12th man, 12th woman, 12th boy, 12th girl. They’re going to be huge. They are a determining factor now in games for us, I felt when I started my career that fans are someone you perform for. But actually, there was never enough when I was at my other clubs that it really made a difference. Whereas here I feel like they’re actually part of the performance. Now, I feel that you can plan the noise of the crowd into the performance parameters for the game and especially our fans, like even at Wembley, obviously Chelsea have their end and we have our end. But then throughout the whole stadium is Manchester United fans. So it’s a huge, huge honour to perform for them as a team. And I think they’re going to be a determining factor in this. Absolutely. Something that would in a tight game, hopefully tilt it our way and all we can do is put on a performance that gives them energy and gets them right behind us.”

It is the final home game of the season. Have you got a message for the fans?
“Just that I’m so proud, and privileged. You know, I’ll probably put out a message at the end of the season based on the fact that we’ve still got to focus and it is easy to be emotional right now. But the reality is that we’ve still got business to do. But they are the most important to what we do. As I say, when I factor in how I think this team should be, I don’t think we’re anything without our fans. So for me, they mean the world and I’ll find the most appropriate words to tell them that and show them that. But I hope that they see that through our performances this year. There have been many occasions where we talked about our path to personality from the games we’ve played this year before the final, and when I look at those factors, I look at all of the games where we’ve won late or we’ve dominated the game, or we’ve gone away to big stadiums and won and right within the core of that are the fans. So, as honestly and genuinely as I can say that, they are the most important thing to what we do because without them I just don’t feel that we’d be in a space where we could perform the way we do. They are literally the most important thing.”

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