City escaped Ewood Park with an FA Cup third round replay after a tense 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Alvaro Negredo’s volley on the stroke of half-time was cancelled out by Scott Dann’s header midway through the second half to make it honours even in this attritional local derby.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes that a draw was a fair result against a Championship team eager to impress and that he isn't too disappointed to have to face them again in a fortnight.
“I think it’s very important to still be in the cup – we played against a strong home team,” Pellegrini reflected.
“There is a lot of motivation for a Championship team playing against a Premier League team.
“I’m not disappointed, it was a very close game – we had more clear chances but not enough to decide the game.
“It’s not a problem to decide this at home.
“We are playing so often, it’s important to have a fresh team for every game – we tried it today. In the first-half, we played very well – after they equalised we were trying to score the second goal, so it was OK.”
Pellegrini also refused to single out individuals for the team’s failure to achieve the result expected of them in the build-up to the game.
“I think that it was a very close game against a difficult team,” Pellegrini said. “They play here with lots of intensity.
“We now must decide who’ll continue in the FA Cup at home.
“I always analyse the team performance, not individuals – Blackburn are a very strong team at home.
“We will see who will continue when we play at home - I think that we’ve drawn and we have to play another game.”
Pellegrini also ruled out any significant transfer dealings in the near future.
“For the moment, we’ll stay the same. What I am saying is not to say we can’t do things before the end of January but for the moment, nothing.”
By contrast, Manuel’s Blackburn counterpart Gary Bowyer was delighted with his team’s display.
Bowyer believes that the endeavour shown by his team could signpost exciting times ahead for the Championship outfit.
“I thought we were excellent today against a world-class City team capable of winning every competition they’re in this season,” Bowyer declared.
“I’ve got nothing but pride in my team today.
...Gary Bowyer - Blackburn Rovers manager...
“They’re a good, honest young bunch, we’ve got a great spirit and great people at the club – they’re passionate and they care.”
Ticket details for the FA Cup third round replay will be released in due course.