Man City: Ilkay Gundogan says they have to be ready for season to resume

Ilkay Gundogan helped Manchester City become the first English men's team to complete a domestic treble last term
Ilkay Gundogan helped Manchester City become the first English men's team to complete a domestic treble last term

Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan says they "have to be ready" to show they are “top players and a top club” when football resumes.

City have 10 games to play in the Premier League but were 25 points behind leaders Liverpool when the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, they hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid, and had reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

“Whatever comes we have to be ready for it,” the German international told BBC Radio 5 Live's Friday Football Social.

“It’s an extraordinary situation right now and extraordinary situations need extraordinary solutions.

“We see ourselves as top players and a top club and this is a chance for us to show that and deal with the situation as well as possible.

“It’s about when everything starts again but it doesn’t start when we are back in training (at the club), it has already started, that is how we should see it, so that we can play in all these things and be ready for every competition.”

City have already won the Carabao Cup this term but their last competitive fixture was over six weeks ago in their Premier League defeat at Manchester United on 8 March.

The final stages of the Champions League and Europa League now look increasingly likely to be played exclusively in August after more talks about the remainder of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday.

There has also been no date yet set for a resumption of the season in England and Euro 2020 has been pushed back until the summer of 2021.

'I had to help people who were struggling'

Gundogan, who has been staying in touch with family and friends via video calls during lockdown, has also made a significant donation to help support people in Heinsberg, Germany.

The German district - which is around 50 miles from Gundogan’s home city of Gelsenkirchen - has been badly affected by the pandemic and the City midfielder has helped facilitate a shopping service for vulnerable people and care packages for nursing staff.

“I feel that I am still privileged in this difficult time and I was sure I had to help people who were struggling,” he added.

“We got in touch with people over there, the local football club (SVG Birgden-Langbroich-Schierwaldenrath), the federation (Middle Rhine Football Association), the medical clinics and we found a solution where we were able to help people in need.

"It was mostly people who are a little bit older who cannot go outside to buy stuff from the supermarket and the amateur players helped take them what they needed. It was also for the people in the clinics, especially (those working) in intensive care, because we can’t appreciate enough what they are doing at the moment.

“We are just thankful, we have a home, we have food, people around us that love us and in this situation we have to try and give something back.”