Coach Philippe Clement insists his Club Brugge side are ‘not on a school trip’

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Club Brugge coach Philippe Clement insists his side are not on a school trip as they prepare to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Belgian side, thrashed 5-1 by City a fortnight ago, face a tough task in Wednesday’s return Champions League Group A fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite that last result, Brugge still have a healthy four points from their three games so far and Clement is adamant his side are not in England for the ride.

“I never start from a scenario thinking we cannot get any points,” said Clement at his pre-match press conference. “That is not in my mind.

“I want a team that will fight really hard on the pitch. We play every match for points. We have not come here on a school trip, let me be clear.

“We know we are playing against one of the two best teams in the world but in the first match we showed some good sides.

“They were not always our best sides but it is a challenge to do that in a better way and take another step forward.”

The match could see Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet come up against his former Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling.

Raheem Sterling has made just three Premier League starts this season
Raheem Sterling has made just three Premier League starts this season (Martin Rickett/PA)

England forward Sterling has started just three Premier League games in a difficult start to the season but Mignolet is in no doubt about the 26-year-old’s quality.

Mignolet said: “When he was at Liverpool he was already an incredible player. I’m not surprised at all about his career. He is just an unbelievable player.

“Of course he might wish to play more regularly at the moment but, with all the quality and all the competition there is for places inside this Manchester City dressing room, it is always difficult to get minutes.”

Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet conceded five to City a fortnight ago
Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet conceded five to City a fortnight ago (Virginie Lefour/PA)

Mignolet is no stranger to the Etihad having spent nine years in England, first with Sunderland and then Liverpool, before returning to his native Belgium with Brugge in 2019.

He said: “I think I won a few matches here with Liverpool but at the same time lost a few. Even with Sunderland we won a few matches.

“But that is the past. I am not really preoccupied with that. It is tomorrow that really counts.”

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