Guardian: Zabaleta confident of title challenge
- 24 September 2013 08:58
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Unsurprisingly, Sunday’s Manchester derby is still the subject on everyone’s lips, and at the end of plenty of pens (or laptop keyboards).
We begin with Pablo Zabaleta, who is keen to use Sunday’s result as the springboard for this season’s title challenge.
He is quoted in the Guardian as saying: "This result has helped the manager, his staff and all the new players. Winning like that gives you confidence. It has helped the team to play much better collectively than we have done. Playing in the way we did, we have a big chance to fight for the title.
“Playing like that in such a big match shows this team has a great spirit. Sometimes we talk about mentality and focus on every game in the Premier League because we know how important it is. But we have to be ready to play every game the same way."
Zaba also hit back at Wayne Rooney’s claims that the clash with Liverpool is a bigger game for the striker. He added: “He was one of their main players. He tried more than anyone else in the Manchester United team. That means for him, when he says that Liverpool is still the big game, I saw him working so hard so probably it proves this game is just as important to him and United as Liverpool."
Samir Nasri also had a big smile on his face at the end of the 90 minutes, and revealed he was pleased to exact some “revenge” for Robin van Persie’s last-minute strike which saw the Reds collect all three points in the fixture last season.
The Mirror quotes the Frenchman as saying: “It’s a different feeling from last year, and a different feeling for me as well.
“Last year I was involved in the third goal in a bad way, so this was a little revenge. I just want to share this moment with our fans.”
He continued: “It was a big statement. We have sent a message to our rivals that this year we can be a force. To win like that is always special.”
Finally, January transfer news three months early appears to be a regular visitor to the media round-up these days, and today will not prove to be the exception.
City, Newcastle and Tottenham have all been linked with Gil Vicente defender Pecks, and the club’s president has come out (very) early to assure buyers they will have to fork out £8m to land the Cape Verde international.
The Mirror claims: “Gil Vicente president Antonio Fiusa says the Cape Verde international has a buy-out clause and added: ‘The player has a contract until 2017 and we do not have to sell at an inferior price.’
“City boss Manuel Pellegrini had been linked with the 20-year-old tough-tackling centre-back after he broke through to the Portuguese side's first team.”
Transfer gossip and speculation looks set to continue right the way through to the next window, but remember, when it does open we’ll be first with any confirmed deals on mcfc.co.uk.