Marc Vivien Foe reckons resurgent Manchester City are ready to burst in to the Premiership’s top six. While defeat against Newcastle seven days ago briefly knocked the wind out of their sails, Foe believes the Blues have done enough over the last three months to be taken as serious challengers for a European place.
Since winning 2-0 at Birmingham in October, City have been one of the form teams in the top flight and it is no surprise that during that period, Kevin Keegan has hardly tinkered with his starting line-up.
With confidence and understanding growing with each game, Foe is bullishly predicting that City will finish the campaign with a flourish, starting at home to Fulham on Wednesday night.
« We believe we can do it, » declared Foe, who has bagged six goals from midfield this season. We can finish in the top six and we know what we have got to do to get there. It’s exciting to be part of it all. We have had an important few months and I believed how we did in that spell would determine where we finish in May.
« We have won a few games, now that is all everyone thinks about. We like winning.
« But even when we don’t win, like at Newcastle last week, we always stay together, no matter how difficult things become.
« We always believe that we can get a goal and this is the most important thing for me. Maybe it has taken time for the team to work up an understanding together.
« I can say, though, we will get better and better, the more we grow. You forget this is the first time a lot of us have played together. »
Though he struggled to keep up with pace of the Premiership when he first arrived last summer Foe, who was Player of the Month in December, is now showing the form that has seen him win more than 50 caps for his country.
Having turned down the opportunity to play in the Champions League with Olympique Lyon to join Keegan’s Blue revolution on a year’s loan, he now says that nothing would give him more pleasure than having his stay at Maine Road made permanent. City have the option to do that in March.
However, with a European spot still very much on his sides agenda, Foe insists he will not be doing anything to distract attention.
« I like Manchester and I have found a nice home, where I can relax away from football, » said the former West Ham star.
« I am here to do my best and of course, I would like to stay here. I enjoying playing here and living in this city but it is not for me to decide whether I stay for good.
« I trust the manager and he trusts me. We respect each other greatly. I always make sure that I do my best for him. »
Keegan, meanwhile, feels it is coincidence that his side push up for the top six has happened at the same time Foe has hit form.
« Marc has been excellent for us, the City chief said. « He got a bit of flak at the beginning of the season but he just got on with it and put his tin helmet on.
« He’s been a very influential player for us and I think that has been the case through the whole season. When we have played well, Marc has played well. »