Kyle Walker has defended Manchester City’s fans against accusations the Etihad Stadium lacks atmosphere for Champions League fixtures.
City go into Wednesday’s game against Shakhtar Donetsk as leaders of Group F and can take a big stride towards last 16 qualification with another victory.
However, their fans have been accused of staying away from the competition and others have repeatedly booed the Champions League anthem before kick-off.
Kyle Walker believes it is up to the players to help create atmosphere against Shakhtar Donetsk
The Manchester City players were creating an atmosphere of their own in training on Tuesday
Leroy Sane appears to be in some discomfort as he jokes around with his City team-mates
‘It is down to us as players to create the atmosphere in there and help the fans,’ Walker said at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday. ‘They are the 12th man.
‘We have an important job on the field to get the victory and we need to make history for this club and that is what we want to do.’
Walker and his Manchester City team-mates were seen making an atmosphere of their own in training on Tuesday as they put in final preparations for the European clash.
What appeared to be little more than a friendly ‘bundle’ ensued between almost the entire squad as bemused coaches looked on. There will, however, be little or no room for messing about on Wednesday night.
An overview of Manchester City’s latest training session as they split into separate groups
Phil Foden plays a pass as Sergio Aguero tries to intercept under Mikel Arteta’s watchful eye
Pep Guardiola watches on as his Manchester City team-mates train under his stewardship
The game against Shakhtar comes four days before a huge derby with rivals Manchester United, but Walker insists City are only focusing on Shakhtar.
‘Every game is important,’ he added. ‘We go game by game. We are fully focused on Wednesday. We will think about Sunday’s after this game.’
The former Tottenham defender also revealed why he cuts holes in his socks before games after drawing attention for his unique look earlier in the season.
He said: ‘I get tight calves with my age. I do that to relieve a bit of pressure.’