Men's Team

Dickov hails 'mature' mindset of 'outstanding' Palmer

Dickov hails 'mature' mindset of 'outstanding' Palmer
Paul Dickov says Cole Palmer’s man-of-the-match display in Friday night’s 4-1 FA Cup win at Swindon provided the latest compelling evidence of his 'outstanding' talent and 'mature' mindset.

The City youngster served up a magnificent individual display at the County Ground.

City's 19-year-old England Under-21 international created our opening goal from Bernardo Silva and then rounded off the night with a stunning finish for our fourth with Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan also on target.

The victory saw City become the first side to confirm our ticket into Sunday’s fourth round draw.

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And for former City and Scotland striker Dickov, who was a special guest on Friday’s latest Matchday Live programme, Palmer’s performance was the undoubted highlight of the night.

“I don’t care what the competition is or who the opposition is – that was just a world class finish,” Dickov declared.

“And Cole deserved it as he was outstanding all night.

WATCH: Palmer aware patience is key after FA Cup flourish

“He was created the first goal and was involved in everything that was good and positive about Manchester City.

“We talk about him being a young boy but the maturity he showed in his performance was unbelievable as well.

“I talk a lot about mentality, and it says a lot about him that there have been a lot of people talking about him for a long time.

“But when you get your chance or opportunity, there are some who want to criticise or maybe say ‘what’s all the fuss about this Cole Palmer

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“However, he rose to the occasion.

“Don’t forget, he was playing in a team with Kevin De Bruyne, with Ilkay Gundogan, with Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus but he stood out and was man of the match by a county mile.

“He is a super talent and he has so much natural ability - he plays between the lines and takes the ball in tight spaces.”

WATCH: Borrell reveals Pep input in Swindon victory

Dickov’s praise for the performance and application of Palmer was echoed by another City legend Shaun Wright-Phillips, his fellow special guest on Friday night’s Matchday Live show.

The former City and England winger was also taken with Palmer’s hunger and cool composure on the big stage.

“The goal was something special but it’s funny as before that, when the ball was played through, I was a bit upset he didn’t cross it to McAtee as that looked the obvious pass,” said Wright-Phillips.

“But he cut back and after the Bernardo shot got blocked the execution of the finish was just ridiculous.

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“He used the inside of his foot, and he didn’t whip it, he just went straight, and it was a fantastic finish by him.

“(As for the first goal by Bernardo) It wasn’t just about the Palmer footwork, but it was his composure to pick a City player out to deliver the pass for the tap-in.

“Cole grew into the game, he kept on trying and he got better and better.

“He was the best player on the pitch - he’s been outstanding.”

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The build-up to the match was far from straightforward with City’s first team squad and backroom staff having been affected by a raft of positive COVID-19 cases with 21 personnel forced to self-isolate including manager Pep Guardiola.

For Wright-Phillips, the professional manner and approach of the side in spite of those challenging issues spoke volumes as to the Club’s mind-set and focus.

“I thought the guys and the staff were all very professional with Pep not being there,” Wright-Phillips added.

“It’s not always easy to be that professional when you play against teams from lower divisions. Sometimes you drop your standard, but City didn’t drop off at all apart from maybe the slip for their goal.

“I thought it was an excellent performance all round.”

Dickov meanwhile also pointed to the fact that we now have an eight-day break before next weekend’s crucial Premier League clash at home to Chelsea.

“The other positive for me was no injurie. We now have eight days before the Chelsea game and everyone will be fired up to try and continue this fantastic run we are on,” Dickov added.

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