Ahead of tomorrow’s lunch time game against Everton here is a round up of all the talk before the match. For City Roberto Mancini, Joleon Lescott, Pablo Zabaleta and Kolo and Yaya Toure share their thoughts. For Everton David Moyes and former City defender, Sylvain Distin, preview the match.
Every game against Everton is very hard. It is difficult because Everton are a top team, they play always 100 per cent. They are strong, they have good players and a good manager. They always play well against top clubs. If you want to beat Everton, you should be ready to fight in every position. They work hard as a team. For every team it is difficult against them. Saturday for us will be important.
The next two or three games will be crucial. If they lose a point in the next two games – maybe. After the two games, we have the derby. But it all depends on us. When you are behind you should win every game. We hope we can play a derby with nine, seven points, maybe 10. Less than 12 would be better. From the derby to the end of the season, they have three or four difficult games.
Everton away is always very tough. It’s a game that they always want to win and it is going to be hard for us. They will be hungry too, after they lost to Wigan last weekend. But we are aware that we need to get three points and keep winning games for our own reasons, so we know what we have to do before we leave for the international break.
Fellaini is very good and a very tall player, so he can be difficult to deal with. They play a lot of long balls and they are very strong in set pieces. Their full backs overlap a lot, especially Leighton Baines on the left side and he can deliver the ball very well. So, defensively we have to be very organised and fight for every ball and with the quality we have we need to create and take our chances when they come along.
It might be the case, but when I was at Everton we beat City on a number of occasions, so I don’t think it’s down to my transfer.
I wouldn’t say they raise their game, because they are always tough opponents against any team. Goodison is a tough away ground. That whole club will be disappointed with their result against Wigan, but you can be sure they will be hard at it in training, determined to get a result against us. The fact they have gone out has no bearing on what happens on Saturday. We know it’s a very tough game, and it has been that way since I joined the club.
It’s going to be a tough game against Everton, no mistake about it – it always is. I am confident, because with the players we’ve got and the ability we have – if we are on form no-one can stop us.
Can we still do it? (win the League) It’s a hard question, a very hard question. But in life where there is time, there is belief. We never know what can happen in the future. Maybe United will hit a hard spell and lose a couple of games. Who knows? For us, we have to do our own job and that is to keep winning, because we never know what can happen.
I think the expectations have risen even higher. The team’s performances this season have been the best football we’ve played in my time. The quality of the players, the style they’ve played in, the way we’ve gone about our job has rightly so put Everton at a level where the expectancy was that Everton have got a chance of top four, Everton have got a chance of winning one of the cups.
When that doesn’t happen then it’s a big shock and it was a big shock to us as well, we didn’t expect it (losing at home to Wigan). As for recovering their confidence in time to face City. You can see the way they’ve spoken this week, that they’re saying they’re ambitious to finish as high up as they can, qualify for Europe if they can. Well that’s the same as the manager and that’s what we’re going to try to work towards.
So far this season it [home form] has been really good but one game like last week can make you forget about everything you have done before. We have to keep in mind that the season isn’t over and we have to finish with good form and carry on what we have done before. Nobody likes to come and play at Everton when we are right at it and the fans are behind us. It’s definitely not a place you like to come to. I’m a player for Everton but I have been on the other side as well when I have come to play here for other teams. It’s not a place you want to go, definitely.
We do have a good record [against City] and I don’t think we have had many defeats in the last 10 games we have played against them, but all that can change really quickly. They are a really strong side and have easily got two teams that could play in the Premier League and compete for the title. We have to keep that in mind. They are going to try to win the title no matter what, even if people believe it is over. They are going to try their best and hope Manchester United make a few mistakes as well. We can’t expect an easy game because they have got individuals in their squad who can change a game in a second. It’s going to be a tough game.