Were there that means weve uh, we weve won the fa cup and were playing against a very, very good side. I think when you start pre season, your your main goal is to be as close to fitness for your first game of the season, so that doesnt really change but its a its a wonderful occasion. You know wembley full house and with the chance to hold something at the end of it is still always important. Obviously we we play every game two to one to win and and obviously going to wembley in front over 98 000, its its certainly something that we would like to do. But it should be a great occasion, fantastic team and that were playing against and again both teams will be searching for towards that last game before the the season begins for real before the season. We have this traditional curtain, race, im, just wondering how many players feel, and particularly you do you ever get nervous or excited before the start of the season i get excited. I think that pre season is all about looking towards that first game and building your fitness up. You know physically mentally, getting ready and prepared so uh and to be able to to play in this game a week before. Um is obviously its a really really great occasion anytime. You play at wembley with something to play for its. It means you, your team, have done well so um, so yeah its uh.
The final game before, as i said, the first game of the season so were really excited and looking forward to it. You touched on this with ian im, wondering how you see the community shields for you. Is it a friendly? Is it a competitive game? Is it one that you you want to win the silverware, especially against a side like manchester city? How do you view this game? Its ive always tried to create the mindset, whether its a friendly or a a competitive game. As such, we want to win every game. We play um, you cant do that, of course, but every game we play it has to mean something, and of course physically is the the main aim of the game, but theres. No doubt you want to go there to to to play well and, and when you can uh, like i say, put your hands on a trophy at the end of it, then, of course you would want to be able to do that with the domestic set complete As it were for leicester cup back in may is the champions league has to be the target for you. This season in terms of whats, happened over the past previous seasons. Listen, i think, from where were at as a club. My players have emphatically overachieved. You know if you position where we are in terms of budget and everything else, then these players have done amazing and then to go on and create history last season and for the first time in the fa cup um.
That was a fantastic season for us. Of course, at the end of the season there is that numb feeling around the last game. But if you look over the over the course of the last couple of seasons when weve just fallen short, probably over the course of 38 games, when we had players missing, maybe our depth of squad just hasnt allowed us to to get over the line, because the Players have given everything theyve done. You know, but unfortunately, at that end of the season when were missing key players, then it was. It becomes that much more difficult. So for us, like all the clubs chasing the the top teams in this division, we we have to fight. We have to continue to climb the mountain. You know we did it. Last year we won the fa cup finished in europe, thats the same aim for us. This year, doesnt change can we arrive into a european position and can we challenge uh for trophies and that that that is our focus and, like i said, uh its proving the point each year and uh and pushing in order to to develop and improve? How much can we tell about your side and how much you will be able to tell about your side during the match for the rest of the season on saturday? How much do you think we can take away from it, probably not a great deal other than seeing where theyre at from a physical perspective? You know such a long season were only in pre season.
So uh, you know: if you looked at man city at the beginning of last season, you would have thought uh, maybe not be such a good season. For them. They ended up champions playing a high level of football and reached the champions league final and uh. Im won the league cup, so maybe in in uh, maybe in pre season you might not have been given that story, so uh, so its a game where both teams will be looking for fitness, its not going to tell you a great tale about the outcome where Itll be next may um, but its a great step to go and play in front of the supporters again, and both teams will be working and fighting and getting physically ready. I just wonder the fact that youre making your third trip to wembley in such a short space of time does that help in some ways change the mentality of the club, not that you had a bad mentality in the first place, but just in terms of being Used to competing on the biggest stage and challenging for for major honors yeah, i think its its what the games about and if you can succeed in and arrive at wembley. As you said, alex, then it shows that your team is doing well. Um and id like to think over the last two and a half years, the team have progressed uh in terms of the the mentality and outlook on competing.
You know so my job, as always i felt, was to build this base camp around the top end of this league. Its always going to be extremely difficult for us to. You know over the course of a season, maybe to outgun some of these guys on a consistent basis. But if we can build that camp up there and be an established club whilst being super competitive in these games and then going for the trophies like we did. Last year, um, then, then, that will show that the club is is succeeding and, like you say, you know, when youre getting to wembley, then youre doing okay, so yeah its uh, its a great testament to the players and that shift the mentality that consistency but, like I said every every season starts: youve got to prove you can climb the mountain again and you you got to go and prove yourself and thats something that we aim to do again.