Maicon: Derby win can give us huge boost
ROBERTO Mancini's newest recruit Maicon believes that a derby day victory at the Etihad would give Manchester City's title defence a turbo boost.
A veteran of intense derby rivalries on two continents, Maicon is convinced that success in a big derby game can change a club's season and only for the better.
"All over the world, the derby is a different game to any other," said Maicon.
"It is a passionate game, whether you are in Manchester, Milan or Brazil, and I am sure Sunday will be just the same."
Maicon has enjoyed great derby days and has a particular memory of the San Siro in 2009 when Inter thrashed AC Milan 4-0.
"My strongest memory of the Milan derbies was the day Inter won 4-0 (in 2009-10) and we also won the Champions League in the same season," he said.
"It was a great game, a great derby, difficult to forget."
Maicon was also involved in a bitter local rivalry in Brazil before he moved to Italy and recalls one game which changed his club Cruzeiro's season.
"I remember playing for Cruzeiro against Atletico Mineiro, at a time when Mineiro were the better team. We won that game, and it changed our whole season for the better.
"This is something that is built into derbies - it can give the team a boost of confidence for the rest of the season."
Maicon's arrival at the City of Manchester Stadium was greeted with scorn by many given his age and the general assessment that the Brazilian is well past his best.
But the 31-year-old has been one of Mancini's success stories during a spell when Manchester City's Champions League challenge withered and died.
For Maicon, it's all about the Premier League title and he believes that as a new recruit, it is vital he makes a big contribution.
"We are working for this (the title) every week," said the Brazilian.
"The bulk of the team that won the league last year is the same, with only a few players coming into the squad.
"It is up to us to contribute to change the history of this club."