Pellegrini: I am sure we can win these six games
- 16 April 2014 07:54
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
It's matchday! And more than that, tonight's clash with Sunderland is an absolute must-win for the Blues. So what are the media saying ahead of the game?
Let's start with the Manchester Evening News, who report that the City boss is confident his side can take maximum points from their remaining games.
Writes Mike Keegan: "The Blues’ title hopes were dealt a hefty blow by Liverpool in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Anfield but the Chilean reckons his men can win all six of their final games to pile pressure on the Scousers.
"City are seven points behind Brendan Rodgers’ side with two games in hand and six to play. A win in both of those would cut the gap to one - but if the Merseysiders win their last four matches they will take the crown for the first time since 1990.
"The sickening Sunday reverse on Merseyside saw Liverpool wrestle the destiny of the title race from City’s grasp.
"But Pellegrini can see more points dropped as the Blues, Liverpool and second-placed Chelsea sprint for the finish line."
Quoted in the article, the City boss stated: "The important thing is that we win our games. We can do nothing about the other teams but we can do a lot of things here. The players know exactly what they have to do and we will try to start tonight.
"We will fight to the end to win the title and if we don’t do it, it is because Liverpool will win their four games.
"If we keep on playing like we have been in the whole season I am sure we can win these six games. Of course it is possible Liverpool can drop points, or Chelsea, or our team also. Any team can drop points every week. In the Premier League all the games are close and it’s not easy to go and win.
"It was a tough game against Liverpool in their own stadium. We didn’t deserve to lose that game but things happen."
"Kompany's uncharacteristic but calamitous mistake on Sunday gifted Liverpool a win that took City's championship destiny out of their own hands," Richard Tanner declares.
"Pellegrini admitted skipper Kompany and the rest of his team were mentally flattened by the result after battling back from 2-0 down - and City suffered another blow yesterday when influential midfielder Yaya Toure was ruled out for at least two weeks with a groin injury.
"But Pellegrini insists his players have the character and experience to pick themselves up and take the title race right to the wire in the belief favourites Liverpool and second-placed Chelsea will still drop points.
"City face relegation-haunted Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium tonight with Pellegrini denying he had gambled by playing Kompany, who had picked up a knee injury in training 24 hours before the trip to Merseyside."
According to the Tanner, the Blues boss asserted: "I don't regret playing him. He started the game because he is the captain, he proved he was fit before the game, he said he was okay and the doctor agreed."
Asked if a distraught Kompany will be mentally fit to play so soon after a mistake that could end up costing City the title, he replied: "I don't like to analyse the individual performance with the media.
"I talk with the players and when we win or lose, it is the responsibility of the whole team. But Vincent is okay. He is fit and he is the squad list for the Sunderland game. It is not easy to recover from Sunday's game but we are recovering."
In other news, there is a mention for Manchester City Women in the Independent. The Blues kick-off their FA Women's Super League season tomorrow night against Liverpool Ladies and Robin Scott-Elliot is eager to see how the league newcomers fare against the reigning champions.
"It is a mouth-watering prospect," he proclaims. "Liverpool, the defending champions, hosting Manchester City – rich, ambitious and the envy of just about every team in the league. It is a fixture that has more than a ring of the men's game about it but on Thursday night marks City's debut in the Women's Super League (WSL).
"For the Football Association, the enthusiastic creators of the WSL whose new season kicks off tomorrow night, the arrival of the richest club in the land as a serious player in the women's game – and City insist they are in it for the long term – is a sizeable fillip.
"Steph Houghton was one of four England players recruited by City, joining from Arsenal, the dominant force in the women's game until Liverpool's transformation. The England captain was convinced to move by City's long-term plan and rejects the idea that City's introduction is anything but good for the game."
"A lot of people have seen it in a negative way – a big club coming in and trying to be the best straight away, but I can't see what's wrong with that," she said. "Ultimately, they want the game to go professional, so I don't really understand if these people are disagreeing with that.
"From a women's football side, it's good to see a club go: 'OK, we want to do this professionally, we want to be the best and to give you the best, give you the opportunity to try and play and improve yourself.' As a player, you want to thrive on that."
Scott-Elliot continues: "City have seven full-time players and 11 part-time, with the bulk of the squad made up of those who were competing in the old second tier last season.
"How [manager Nick] Cushing, who has never coached in the women's game before, having been moved across from City's youth set-up, moulds the two groups together will be key to whether his side can find immediate success against the likes of Liverpool, Bristol and Arsenal. City are, unsurprisingly, keen to dampen expectation."
"We are trying to build a new team," said Cushing. "It would be unrealistic to think we can go and roll teams over and win leagues. There is an expectation because of what our men's team have done. With our women's team we have to be realistic."
Here's hoping it will be a very productive 24 hours for our senior sides!
That's all for today. Check back to mcfc.co.uk tomorrow morning for the media's post-match analysis.
The race for the Premier League has come to the boil, so make sure you’re there to lend your support as we bid for a second title in three years.
Tickets are still available for the two of the last first-team games taking place at the Etihad Stadium this season, against Sunderland and West Brom.
They could be decisive clashes, so don’t miss out.