First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

Bring on the derby, says De Jong

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong admits that he is as intrigued as any fan over which side Sir Alex Ferguson will field in the Carling Cup semi-final derby on Tuesday night.

Old Trafford's manager has steered the Reds into the last four by following a selection policy of playing youngsters with a couple of old hands to steady the ship.

But De Jong wonders about a re-think after the shock FA Cup third-round defeat by Leeds left them with one less trophy to aim at and also reduced the pressure on the first-team squad.

He said: "I don't know whether their manager is going to play his full-strength team or his reserves after their FA Cup misery! It's up to Ferguson, he's the manager and he knows his squad the best.

"You hear the rumours that he is going to play his strongest team after the FA Cup loss but we will have to see what happens.

"I don't think it is a sign of disrespect if he doesn't pick his strongest team. He made it clear at the beginning of the Carling Cup that he would try to rest players because other competitions were more important.

"But it is a semi-final and they are playing a derby against their biggest rivals, and we'll only see what he's thinking when we see who's on the pitch on the day.

"It's a semi-final, one of the biggest games for City in a few years, so we have to do our best to reach the final whoever it is we play against.

"People still talk about what happened at Old Trafford in the League, but that game is in the past, we don't want to keep looking back. This is a new game. We want to look to the future."

City striker Carlos Tevez goes up against old team-mate Wayne Rooney, and Nigel added: "Naturally I'll say I would rather have Carlos! He's a great player, but so is Rooney.

"Every player needs to be loved. I don't know what Carlos' situation was at Old Trafford, I'm just glad he's here, happy that he's with us. As always, I know he'll be doing his best."

Match Report

Everton v City

Goodison Park

It had to happen eventually, but Roberto Mancini will wish that his honeymoon period as City manager had ended in less uncomfortable fashion than this first dismal defeat on Merseyside.

First Team News

'I am not a magician' says Mancini

First Team News

Robinho told to enjoy away days too


Roberto Mancini has told Robinho that he wants City's Brazilian star to be a threat away from home as well as in the warm embrace of the City of Manchester Stadium.