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Pellegrini: Nasri ready to return

Manuel Pellegrini 1

Manuel Pellegrini 1

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Samir Nasri is back in full training and will be included in the squad list for Wednesday’s Capital One Cup clash.

The midfielder has been unavailable for the past four weeks after undergoing a groin operation, but is now ready to return to action when City host Newcastle.

However, the boss declared that Frank Lampard remains on the sidelines and is likely to miss the Manchester derby at the weekend.

“Frank Lampard has a muscle injury but all the other players in the squad are fit,” Pellegrini told the press at his pre-match briefing. “Samir Nasri is working normally and he is in the squad list for tomorrow.

“I don’t think Frank will be fit for the weekend but maybe he can be fit for next week.”

The 2014 Capital One Cup triumph at Wembley netted the manager his first piece of silverware in England, and he is clearly keen to defend the trophy won in dramatic fashion last March.

Wednesday’s clash with Newcastle is the first of three games in a week for City, with the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon swiftly followed by the return fixture against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

However, Manuel insists he remains focused on the Magpies, and will turn his attention to Manchester United only once the final whistle sounds at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

“We are just thinking about Newcastle,” said the Chilean. “When we finish against Newcastle we will start to think about United and the Premier League. We have to play three games in a row here at home in three different competitions so I think it is very important to be concentrating on the Capital One Cup.”

He added: “It is very important for the club to win trophies. That is why it doesn’t matter in which competition we are playing, we are trying to win all four competitions in the same way.  

“I transmit the mentality to the players that every game you play is one you must try to win. If you ask me if I prefer to win the Premier League, maybe, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to win the Capital One Cup which is why we are involving the whole squad in this game.”

Three days after defeat at West Ham, and the performance at Upton Park continues to draw questions. The boss admitted he was disappointed, but was quick to point out every side will drop points over the course of a long Premier League season that is not yet a third old.

Said Manuel: “We are disappointed because first of all West Ham played very well, but I don’t think we deserved to lose that game.

“We didn’t score the three or four chances that we had and we couldn’t add three more points, but all the teams will drop points and in this case it was our team.

“Last year we had the same criticisms that we must change the way we play away because out of the first 18 points we only won four. But this year this was the first defeat in six or seven games that we played away.

“Things change but we are always looking to improve.”

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Manuel Pellegrini believes City had enough chances to leave West Ham with at least a draw - though he praised Sam Allardyce's side for their spirited performance.