Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insisted the Premier League title race is not over yet despite Liverpool's hefty lead over his former side, as he backed Pep Guardiola to be club's driving force for the future.
The 33-year-old was honoured at a Football Writers' Association evening on Sunday, where he had praise for new record goalscorer Sergio Aguero along with manager Guardiola.
Back-to-back champions City trail Jurgen Klopp's men by 14 points having played a game more, with many suggesting Guardiola has already turned his attentions to an all-out assault on the Champions League.
City did go on an inrcedible run last year to pip Liverpool to the title by a point after 14 straight wins, but with Klopp's side winning 20 of their 21 games so far with just one draw it's hard to see them dropping so many points during the run-in.
Kompany, however, does not want to throw in the towel just yet, with the Belgian insisting: "I never say it's over with City. It's impossible to say."
Kompany's departure to become Anderlecht player-manager and the serious injury to Aymeric Laporte have been the two major factors cited for City dropping off the pace, although it had been a record pace being set over at Anfield.
Rumours over Guardiola's have also been doing the rounds, but Kompany is convinced that he is still the man for the job at the etihad and that it could still be a memorable season with the Champions League and two domestic cups to play for.
"They have Pep and no matter what, Pep is the right guy," he told Sky Sports News.
"You never say over with City. But it isn't in the hands of City but that is unfortunate but there is so much to look forward to.
"When you look how they have been performing in cups and the Champions League is still a massive target for the club, there is no reason to be disappointed about the season at this stage."
Asked what advice he would offer to the current City side, Kompany added: "Stay calm.
"It is an experienced team and they don't have to prove anything to anyone.
"They have done it, they know what it takes. It isn't about one season, it is about an era, a period of time."
Asked if he could return to City one day, Kompany replied: "It is as far off my mind as you can imagine."
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