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Yaya’s Royal decree

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Yaya Toure says City must start their festive fixtures with a win against Premier League basement side Reading on Saturday.

The African Player of the Year produced a masterful display at Newcastle with his best performance of the season, but he knows with so many games in a short space of time, the Blues will need to dig deep in order to keep the pressure on leaders Manchester United.

And with City facing two long-haul trips to Sunderland and Norwich in three days over the Christmas period following the Royals’ visit, Yaya knows the Blues must hit the ground running in this important phase of the campaign.

“It’s true we have a lot of travelling to do over Christmas with the long journeys, staying in hotels and then training - there is very little recovery time,” he said.

“Obviously, if we didn’t have such distances to travel, we could come home and rest in-between matches, but we are fortunate in that we have fantastic physiotherapists who will patch us up and make sure we are in the best physical shape we can be for all the holiday games.

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“As for our first game of this period, I’ve seen a lot of Reading and I know they are a good side – there really are no easy games – and people don’t realise that even the sides that maybe near the bottom are more than capable of making life difficult.

“They will fight and bring good support and will keep going to the end – they looked dead and buried against Arsenal on Monday when they were 4-0 down, but they still scored twice late on to make a game of it.

“In Spain, when you go ahead it in a game it generally means things will get easier – in England, it doesn’t and even if you go 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 up, you have to keep going until the end to make sure you don’t allow your opponents a way back in.

“It will be very important to win this game and as it’s the start of a very busy period, the result is more important than the performance at this time of year.”

You can keep up to date with all the action from the Etihad Stadium here on mcfc.co.uk with our live match day centre and we'll also bring you all of the post match reaction from the game.


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