In anticipation of City’s away trip to Aston Villa on Monday night, here is a round up of all the talk from both camps ahead of the match. For City, Roberto Mancini, Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez have their say. For Villa, manager Paul Lambert, and midfielder, Fabian Delph, share their thoughts.
Aston Villa are in a difficult situation. I don’t know their situation very well but for me they have good players. Maybe they have young players and this is the reason they fight against relegation. But it is my opinion they have good players and probably they don’t deserve to stay there.
When we have another 11 games and it is impossible (to give up). We should do our best from now to the end and after we will see what happens.
Vinnie (Kompany) is getting better. We hope [he will be fit] for the next game. We will try for Villa on Monday but it’s difficult. He didn’t train with the team. He was with the physio. The calf is a difficult injury because you think [it is] OK at the start and then have a problem.
With 25 players it isn’t easy for the manager to work and keep everybody happy. Sometimes if a player has been dropped for a game because Mancini wants to make a change, it’s difficult for them, they go down, because they want to play. That happens in all teams.
We are a team [built] over the last four years; it’s not really easy for a team to build up the mentality to try to keep winning every year, like top teams around Europe.
Probably this year we needed to show we wanted to retain the title and it’s been very difficult. So we know that we need to do something more, give something more, try to do better, to create that strong mentality that we need. We know we have great, fantastic players but probably we have to be stronger as a group to be one of the top teams in Europe.
I think that what we have left is 11 cup finals. There is not long between now and the rest of the season and we must win – we have to win. It is very important that we stay strong – both mentally and physically – going into each of the remaining games.
I think this is going to be a tough game. We know that Villa are battling against relegation and it’s at their ground, so I think it’s going to be treated like a final for them too, so that should make for a very entertaining match.
We’re still in the race, we know we can still catch United. If we can get three points from every match and hope that United slip up here and there, we can maybe start to put some pressure on them. We would be fooling ourselves if we thought it was going to be easy. It will be very tough, but by picking up the points we will be fighting, believe me we will be fighting and while it is still mathematically possible, we will be going for it.
The Villa fans have been brilliant to me and they’ve been like that all season long. They could have turned pretty quickly with the results – but they have been excellent. They’ve come in their thousands to watch us home and away. I can’t ask any more from the fans, that’s for sure.
You can’t keep everybody happy all the time, I understand that, and fans naturally get upset with results. But in general terms, the crowd at Aston Villa have been brilliant to me. They pay a lot of money to follow the team and will drive us on as always against Manchester City on Monday.
It’s a great honour to be the manager of the club. It’s a massive club with a great history. I’ve never been one to shy away from things. You either roll over and die or meet things head on and I’m not going to roll over.
I don’t think we go into any game frightened of anyone. We have to take the challenge on. We know how good a side they are. We have to go into it as if we can win it. There’s no point in playing otherwise. We’re certainly playing well enough to cause them trouble.
I looked up to Milly (James Milner). He is a Leeds fan like I am. I remember him coming through the ranks like I did (at Leeds). He was in an unbelievable team when they were in the Champions League. He was an inspiration to me – and still is. I look up to him.
He is a role model. Physically he is top notch, he works hard on his game and he’s in the gym all the time when he’s not playing. He runs more than anyone I have ever seen during matches. He covers every blade of grass. I can’t wait to face him, if selected.