Having beaten the Red Devils in the FA Cup semi-final last year, the Dutch midfielder believes his top-of-the-table side have no fear of facing their much-decorated rivals
The Citizens go into the derby sitting atop the Premier League table, and the Dutch midfielder has declared that they do not fear their local rivals, having beaten them in last season’s FA Cup semi-final.
“Of course, everyone believes we can win,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“We’re going there as No. 1 and the aim is to stay No. 1.
“The pressure is still the same as it was last year, but what has changed is that we’re now No. 1 going into this derby.
“That brings pressure, but the pressure is always there because of how this Manchester City team is growing.
“We proved last season that we could beat them, so we don’t have anything to prove. We’ve shown our quality throughout the season. We don’t need a game against United to show how good we are.
“We’re on top of the league, so going into this game we just have to be confident and play our game as well as we have been doing.”
The 26-year-old holding midfielder says he is thrilled to be part of City’s attempt to build a lasting legacy to match that of the Red Devils.
“You can’t build a history of winning trophies over 25 years like United have done just in one year,” de Jong added.
“We are building here, step by step, but it takes time. Maybe you don’t get a lot of time when you’re spending a lot of money on players. But still you need to go step by step. That’s how it has to be.
“This side can be part of history as well, because it’s been so long since we won the title. If we can be part of the history here at City, that would be a really good thing.
“That’s the main reason why myself and a lot of the others signed for City. You have to be honest, they pay good wages and everyone can earn a good living here, but it’s not about that.
“Every player wants to win trophies and titles and we feel we can do that here.”
City come into the game with momentum after beating Villarreal 2-1 in Tuesday night’s Champions league fixture.
“It’s a big boost,” de Jong enthused.
“Every game you win gives you something extra going into the next game and that’s especially the case when you’ve got a game like this one on Sunday.”
A win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side would take the Citizens five points clear of their title rivals.
How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.