Kolarov - City closing gap
Defender reveals how traumatic childhood forged his will to win
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: February 10, 2011 10:40am
Kolarov: Set for United
Aleksandar Kolarov insists that Manchester City are closing in on Manchester United ahead of Saturday's derby.
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The Serbia left-back is set to get his second taste of the Manchester derby this weekend as Roberto Mancini's side head to Old Trafford.
Kolarov is almost certain to be included in City's starting XI after finding his form in recent weeks, including a spectacular free-kick against Birmingham City.
The 25-year-old played just 11 minutes of the corresponding fixture against United and the defender claims the Lazio-Roma and Red Star Belgrade-Partizan Belgrade derbies are fiercer.
"In Manchester, there is more humour," Kolarov said in The Telegraph. "In Rome or in Belgrade, it is different. Here, the fans just want to win, but they don't think bad.
"The fans just want to support their teams to the maximum and this is good. I like this."
City trail Premier League leaders United by five points but Kolarov insists the Eastlands outfit are still in touch with the pace-setters.
He said: "We have had some very good results and we are not too far from United. We are third now, so we want to try to win the Premier League, but we also have the FA Cup and the Europa League.
"We will see in the end, but we are a very strong team and we want to win things."
Kolarov, a £19million signing from Lazio last July, has overcome a three-month ankle injury lay-off during the autumn to become a fixture at left-back in Mancini's side.
And the full-back insists his traumatic childhood when he experienced the Nato bombings in Belgrade in 1999 has helped form his character and determination to succeed in England.
"Everybody from my country has a story from when they are young," said the Serbia international.
"When I was young, my story is that I had two wars, but maybe you have to grow up quicker.
"Maybe that is why Vidic is captain of Manchester United and why Dejan Stankovic plays for 10 years in Italy and wins everything."