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Fernandinho not focused on United

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has urged his team-mates to focus on making a winning start to the Premier League season and avoid concerning themselves with the challenge of Manchester United.

Manuel Pellegrini welcomes Fernandinho to Manchester City.
Fernandinho is heavily backed to succeed at City.

Fernandinho made a bright start to his City career during the Barclays Asia Trophy and is expected to provide a stern challenge for a first team berth after his transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Brazil international insists City must get off to a flying start in the Premier League if they are to keep their hopes of domestic and European success alive.

"It is important to start strong," he said. "We need to get as many points as possible in those first few games. It is not a question of thinking about United. We have to think about ourselves.

"It is important before the Champions League starts in mid-September to get as many points as possible because after that we are playing Saturday-midweek all the time and it gets harder."

Fernandinho's slight frame suggests he may have a difficult time adapting to the physical nature of the Premier League, but he is eager to impose himself on English football.

"The Premier League is a very strong competition," he added. "It is very tough and a different style of football. Obviously I don't have any experience of English football, so I don't know what the effects will be.

"I want to train and practise as much as possible. I want to have a balanced season, always playing at the same level."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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