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Pellegrini: We will have to play a very good game



Manuel Pellegrini has insisted his side must be at the top of their game for Sunday's visit of Chelsea.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference at Carrington, the Chilean asserted his side are determined to close the gap on the league leaders to two points but remained coy on talk the clash was season-defining.

"I always try to think positively," he stated. "I hope we are not going to lose and fall eight points behind Chelsea.

"They have started very well and they are playing very well. They have increased their squad with more and better players so for me, it is no surprise they are there.

"It is very important to win on Sunday but there is a long way until the end of the season. This is just the fourth game and we have to play 38 so we will see what happens in the future."

Pellegrini also warned against focusing solely on the threat of Diego Costa, while also cooling the suggestion City have started the campaign poorly.

"I don’t think Chelsea is just about Diego Costa," he added. "They have very good players and we will have to play a very good game if we want to win.

"I think we were very unlucky in the last two games – against Bayern in the way we lost with that goal and against Arsenal, we deserved to win the three points. Things happen and we must win our next game at home.

"With that, we will be just two points behind the Premier League leaders and for me, that is a very good start after playing Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea."


The 61-year-old was also questioned on the recent criticism of Yaya Toure, to which he replied: "It is not fair for me to criticise what Yaya did in the last game. That is my way of thinking.

"Normally, when we win or lose, it is because all the team played well or badly. Everyone knows which are the best performances of the players and we are trying to reach that level of performance for all of them as a team.

"I don’t agree that Yaya has all the responsibility about the game we played. Yaya always has commitment with the team, the squad and with his teammates. He does not have a problem."

On a more positive note, the City boss was also asked to share his views on Joe Hart's performance, declaring: "Some of you asked me about Joe Hart after the game against Stoke. I don’t analyse individual performances with the press - I always talk with the players.

"Joe had a very good game but that’s why he’s the number one of England."

In regards to team news, Pellegrini insisted he would not disclose his squad until tomorrow but revealed all but Stevan Jovetic and Fernando are fit to play - including Edin Dzeko, Eliaquim Mangala, Sergio Aguero and former Blue Frank Lampard.

"The squad is okay," he divulged. "We continue with problems for Stevan Jovetic and Fernando and Edin Dzeko suffered a problem in his back after the game but I hope he will, be okay for Sunday.

"Maybe Sergio in this moment is not ready to play three games in a row in just one week – that’s why I thought it was better for him and the squad for him not to play 90 minutes against Bayern.

"He is fresh for Sunday and I’m sure he will make a difference. When he is 100% fit, Sergio always makes a difference.


"Frank is part of our squad and tomorrow, I will give the squad list for that game. I’m sure he will be involved in that game as part of the squad.

"I don’t think it is a difficult situation for him. He didn’t continue at Chelsea because Chelsea didn’t want him – not because he wanted to come here to City.

"He is within his rights to continue playing football. He arrived here and we are very happy with him.

"There is no problem at all with Mangala. He is working with the squad.

"He started a little bit late with his preparation. The last game he played was in May but now he is ready and knows a lot of things about the way we play."

There is only one way to watch City’s Capital One Cup third round clash with Sheffield Wednesday live.

The first step towards defending our trophy won at Wembley in March will not be shown live on TV anywhere in the UK, so make sure you’re at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 24 September.

Prices start at £5 for under-16s and £15 for adults, so no excuses: get your ticket now and make sure you don’t miss out!

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