Our fans were the twelfth man, says Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong

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Nigel de Jong has said that Manchester City could never have won the 2011-12 Premier League title without the passion and belief shown by the supporters.

Home and away, fans were there all the way as Manchester City powered towards the finish line and to a first top flight title in 44 years.

The combative de Jong always had a close relationship with the supporters during his four seasons at the Etihad, and during his interview with official website of City, he revealed just how influential the fans were that year.

“They were very special because we had won the FA Cup the year before and for most City fans, it was the first time they’d seen their team win a trophy,” said de Jong.

“So now, all the diehard City fans who had been following the club all their lives are completely engaged for the 2011-12 season. Even so, the supporters I was meeting were like ‘yeah’ we’re going for the Premier League but we’re still in this progressive phase period right now’ – but we knew as players that we were taking it step-by-step to become the best team in the Premier League – and then the world,” he said.

“Our fans were always there, especially the away support, always loud and always right behind us,” he said.

“You’d see them at the train station, around the coach, at Carrington or in the city centre and they were always with us, believing. That game against United with three games to go was electrifying, because they had invested so much money, time and blood sweat and tears for us over the years,” de Jong said.

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