PREVIEW IN QUOTES: United vs City (Part 1)

Ahead of the Monday evening Manchester derby here is a round up of all the pre-match talk from the City camp. Roberto Mancini, Edin Dzeko, Kolo Toure, Joe Hart and James Milner all preview the match. See what they have to say below:

Roberto Mancini

It’s not a true table. We have eight games left, and if we play well maybe we can reduce this gap. That should be our target. We’ll (be motivated) because it’s a derby and because we want to show maybe that we don’t deserve to stay 15 points behind. It’s not important for the title race, but the derby is always the derby. It’s important for us and for them, and there is always pressure. Every derby is important. We want to go there and try to win. We know it’s not easy to win there, but we want to play a good game, to do our job and we’ll see what happens.

We’ve scored 20 goals less than last year – only this is the difference. The goals we conceded are the same, and we have the best defence. We’re missing only these goals, but we had a lot of injuries to Sergio Aguero and we lost Mario Balotelli, who scored 15 goals last season. We want to improve our team (this summer), not like last year. We’ve only challenged for the title for two years, and if every year you don’t improve it’s difficult.

Edin Dzeko

I scored against United a few years ago for Wolfsburg – you have teams against whom you score a lot of goals, and there are others you never score against. I am happy that United seems to be one of those against whom I score a lot! We will see on Monday – I would be happy to get another one, but the most important thing is getting the win. When you play against United you always need 150 per cent, as it’s the best game of the season, no matter how many points the difference.

The two last season made me happy. It was an incredible game – the only game that beats it in my career is the one against QPR. Nobody expected us to win 6-1. When you win 6-1 at home against some other team, it is something special, so it was amazing for our fans and it felt great to make them so happy. No one will forget that day, even United fans. I remember the looks on the faces of the City fans in that corner. They were more than happy at 4-1, when I scored, and when the fifth and sixth went in I don’t think anyone could quite believe it.

I think people know we are not 15 points worse than United. They have played a fantastic season, and we dropped important points, so now we are in this situation. But we also showed last season that we can beat them, and we will try to do so this season as well. They will want to be better than they were at Old Trafford, and they have already beaten us at our stadium – we have to be much better than we were in that game.

Kolo Toure

Back when I was playing in North London derbies, it was only Arsenal and Manchester United fighting for the title and that was the biggest competition but today it’s more like City and United. We need to try and win this game – we don’t want other teams to catch us because we want to make sure we get second but at the same time we want to close the gap at the top.

It will be a tough game, we know the title is difficult and that they are in front of us. It’s going to be really important mentally for us – we lost the game at home and it’s important for us to try and win it back. We played a great game against Newcastle but now we need to be focused, prepared and to give 100% on Monday.

I think it’s going to be a really open game, both teams will try to win, there’s nothing really to lose for either team. I think that will be reflected in the style of match – I think both teams will be giving everything to try to give pride to their fans.

Joe Hart

We’ve got to look to win our last seven games and two in the cup. That has to be seen as successful. We do not deserve to be 15 points behind Manchester United. They play very well and have won a lot of games and they deserved to stay on top but not by 15 points. The table is not true. Now we have eight games and if we win a lot of those games maybe we can close that gap.

You have to keep re-evaluating the season. We have had disappointments in the league and Champions League but you have to move forward and appreciate it’s not all set up for us. We have to keep moving forward and learning.

It is a cliche but we play for our fans, and for ourselves. It looks like the title is not going our way but we have a lot to play for. We are looking for three points and to get as big a tally as we can.

James Milner

It will be a great match, it’s always great playing against Manchester United and we’re desperate to beat them. We’ve had a tough week’s training and we’ve been working very hard. We’re also coming off the back of a good performance against Newcastle, so it’s been a good build up to the game. We’ll go out there and play as well as we can and hopefully if we play to the best of our ability I’m sure that will be good enough to get us a win and give our fans something to shout about.

It’s looking unlikely that we will retain our title which is very disappointing, but it changes nothing. You’re representing Manchester City every time you step out on that field and wearing the shirt, so you go out and give 100 per cent and try to win every game. Whether it’s a friendly, a cup final or a league game, you always want to beat your closest rivals and we’re desperate to do that.

It was an amazing day (the 1-6). It’s not easy to go there and win at all, never mind win by that score line, but I think it showed how well we played on the day. I think I came off just before full time and everyone was just looking at each other on the bench as we couldn’t believe the goals kept going in! It was a great day and something the fans always sing about and I’m sure they’ll sing about it for a long, long time!

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