De Jong issues rallying call
Nigel de Jong has urged Man City fans to reproduce the atmosphere that saw off Chelsea last season.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 24/09/10 5:13pm
Nigel de Jong has urged the Manchester City fans to reproduce the atmosphere that inspired them to last season's home win over Chelsea.
The City faithful spurred their side on to a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Eastlands last December, which marked out the big-spending Blues as potential Champions League contenders.
City then won the return fixture 4-2 in their quest to claim a top-four place, although Chelsea went on to win the Double.
City ultimately missed out on Champions League qualification, finishing fifth behind Tottenham, but De Jong is hoping for a repeat of that memorable home win last season when the defending champions return this Saturday.
"The fans can do a lot for us," the tough-tackling midfielder told the club's official website.
"At home, they can be the 12th man from the first minute onwards. That will be a big help and we expect a lot from them tomorrow.
"Everybody knows what happened last season. It was a special game for the club and the players. We are all looking forward to playing this game."
City were the only team to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in last season's Premier League and they did so in thrilling fashion with that 4-2 victory in February.
Carlo Ancelotti's men still managed to win the title and have set the pace this term with a 100% start, beating West Brom, Wigan, Stoke, West Ham and Blackpool so far.
City are fourth after two wins and two draws from their opening five games and will be Chelsea's first real test of the new campaign, but De Jong knows the visitors will be keen to avenge last season's double defeat.
"They lost both matches against us last season, so they will be coming here to try to win, we are aware of that," added the Holland international.
"But they will know we can more than match them if we're on the top of our game. They will give it 100%, as they have the mentality of champions.
"If you read the papers and listen to what their players are saying, then you know that that this is their biggest test yet - and that is a good thing - because it means that everyone is taking us seriously.
"We'll need to be at our best to beat them and we have some catching up to do. We are on eight points and they have 15, so there is a gap of seven points already. If we win this game we will close that gap a little, which is important.
"It is only September so anything can happen over the season. We need to win continuously so that we can remain in the top four. It doesn't matter who comes here, whether it's Chelsea or a smaller team, we need to win every game."