De Jong hurt by defeat
Nigel de Jong has admitted Man City's players are 'hurting' after their dismal home defeat by Fulham.
Last Updated: 13/04/09 5:28pm
Nigel de Jong has admitted Manchester City's players are 'hurting' after their dismal home defeat by Fulham on Sunday.
Mark Hughes' men were booed off at Eastlands after seeing their five-game winning run on home soil brought to an abrupt halt by the Cottagers.
Stephen Ireland fired the hosts in front before the interval but Clint Dempsey's brace and a further effort from Dickson Etuhu in the second half secured only a second away win of the season for Roy Hodgson's men.
It completed a miserable few days for City after their defeat at Arsenal and the 3-1 reverse at Hamburg in the first leg of their Uefa Cup quarter-final.
"We tried to do our best but in the second half it all went wrong," midfielder De Jong told the club's official website.
"I'm gutted, we all are - two wins in a row and you can be seventh, so it's tough when you lose that kind of game at home.
"That's football, but it still hurts. You put every effort into the game, so of course it hurts - we don't set out to lose on purpose, nobody does, and we need to repay the fans by showing our true quality now.
"We have a huge game now against Hamburg on Thursday in the Uefa Cup and it's very important to show the fans what we can do. We're hurting now, but we have to be positive and make a fresh start from today."
Holland international De Jong has called on his team-mates to come out fighting in Thursday's second leg against his former club if they are to continue their European dream.
He added: "Of course it is going to be a huge test of our character, and we have a lot of young guys in the squad.
"We have to get our thoughts right and our focus right for the Hamburg game. We have to show what we are made of now, show the right mentality out on the pitch.
"Everybody has to give everything for the team."