Manchester City centre-back John Stones has said that chasing the Premier League in a close battle with Liverpool is making his team ‘hungrier to keep winning', when compared to last year's more relaxed title victory.
Stones compared this season, which will almost certainly go to the wire, and has already seen a record 30 lead changes at the summit, to last year, when City won the league by a record 19 points.
While the England man said he preferred last year’s experience he said it was even more ‘exciting’ this time around, and that the club must lean on the experiences of those players that had been through a tight title race before.
“It’s a different scenario, last season the league was done by now,” Stones said.
“It’s a strange situation because some of us haven’t been in this situation before. I think Vinny [Vincent Kompany] said that these are the times when it brings the best out of you as a player.
“Him as a player, David [Silva], Sergio [Aguero] and a few of the others have been in this situation before. So they know what the feeling is and how to get the best out of it.
“It’s making us hungrier to keep winning, keep the pressure on and keep fighting until we can’t anymore.”
City have won 12 straight games in the league and know two more wins will see them become the first back-to-back Premier League champions since
Manchester United won three straight between 2007 and 2009.
“I never thought I’d win one title so I think it’s extra special for me if we can do the double as it hasn’t been done for years,” said Stones.
The 24-year-old also spoke of his admiration for his team-mate and friend Raheem Sterling, who won PFA Young Player of the Year on Sunday, and revealed his rather left-field choice for Player of the Year.
“How Raheem has handled himself this season, he has overcome a lot of things – some non-football related. That’s been something.
“How he has stood up for his beliefs and still gone out and performed the way he has... that’s admirable for me, as a friend, but I also admire him for going out and scoring the goals he has.
“I’m a big fan of Son Heung-min, he’s gone under the radar a bit. I voted for him
“Just his performances, take nothing away from [Player of the Year winner Virgil van Dijk] he’s been outstanding, but I like to go for someone who’s a bit under the radar.”