Kompany draws on spirit of title win to inspire City to retrieve lost cause

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany speaks to the media on the eve of the Barcelona game at Camp Nou.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany led from the front as he urged everyone to believe ahead of his side’s crunch Champions League clash in Barcelona.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini opted out of pre-match media previews duties at the Nou Camp as he prepared to begin a two-game touchline ban.

That left Kompany to sound the rallying call on the eve of the game as City bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit – and significant odds – to claim a place in the quarter-finals.

Kompany said: "It is in our hands. We are going out on the pitch and have to do the job.

"The message to everyone is we have to believe – not just for ourselves but we have probably more than 5,000 fans coming here hoping something might happen, of witnessing something special.

"That is what we have to believe in. I am really excited about this one and the whole team is the same. In my opinion there is nothing better than chasing a lost cause.

"We will try to make the best of it. The motivation and the belief are still there."

Pellegrini did deliver a team talk as he oversaw a training session at the stadium on the eve of the game.

But the Chilean will now have to take a back seat as he pays the price for his outspoken attack on the referee after the first leg loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini is allowed to watch from the stands but can have no contact with players or his coaching staff until after the final whistle.

Kompany said: "It is a first for me. In 10 years I have always been used to the manager in the dressing room before the game.

"But ultimately it is the kind of game where you don’t need too much extra motivation."

City have little European experience to fall back on but Kompany believes memories of the 2012 Barclays Premier League title win can inspire the players.

No-one connected with the club will have forgotten how City struck twice in the closing minutes of the final game of the season to snatch the domestic crown from rivals Manchester United.

Kompany said: "It is a tough ask, but emotionally you won’t really beat what we experienced on the day we beat QPR.

"If anything should give you belief about chasing lost causes it should be that day."

Any tactical decisions on the night will need to be made by Pellegrini’s staff, one of whom, assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, even stood in for him for him at the press conference.

Cousillas, an Argentinian who has worked with Pellegrini at numerous clubs, said: "I know the way he thinks. I know he has got full confidence in me and if it has got to be done I am up to the challenge."