Ahead of tomorrow’s game against West Ham, here is a round up of all the talk before the game. For City, Roberto Mancini and Samir Nasri preview the game. For West Ham “Big” Sam Allardyce and Winston Reid share their thoughts.
I think that maybe we made some mistakes. We did everything to win this title but they did better than us. I don’t think the gap is correct but we have five games, we have time to recover six or seven points. This is possible but in the end it doesn’t change anything because they deserve this.
I think also when you win you can make some mistakes. Every day we can make a mistake. It is important you understand where we made this mistake. In this moment, it is important to finish well this season and then we have three, four months to improve our team.
It was over three, four, five games ago, not mathematically, but it was over. They deserve to win this title, many congratulations to Manchester United for the work they did this season. They did better than us, they won a lot of games in a row, it was really difficult. We should be also realistic. If there is one team that did better than you, you can do nothing.
It’s not difficult to stay competitive because we have to secure second place. It’s really important for us and for the club to have ambition and to show our fans that we are going to play to the end because that’s our job and that’s what we do best. There’s still prestige attached to second place and it’s important for the club to play in the Champions League and not have to take part in the play-off stages too.
It’s going to be a tough match against a side that has nothing to lose and is playing well. A team managed by Sam Allardyce is always difficult to play against and so we are going to have to play well to get a result against them.
I’m pleased with my performances lately because finally I am playing 100 per cent and I have no injuries. This year was really tough for me; I’ve been through a difficult summer with my national team at the Euros. Then I came back and started the season well but then I had a couple of injuries and when you are a player it’s difficult mentally. Now I’m feeling great and I’m trying to give my best to the club and to the fans so that they have confidence in me. I hope I can continue like this and into next year as well.
The squad is feeling very good because we have a very exciting FA Cup final ahead. The season is not over and we want to have won a trophy at the end of it because for two years we have had this habit and that is what we want to continue.
I said from the start that our goal was to finish around mid-table, 10th would be the highest. We’re there with four games to go, it shows the consistency that we’ve had. Bad runs happen to everybody, but if it’s only one period it’s not too bad, we only did that around December and January. We’re in a very comfortable position and we can relax without that detracting from our performance. We’ve got two very difficult away games and two home games which on paper don’t look as difficult, but which are.
We’ll look forward on Manchester City and try our best to get a result out of a very difficult game. I saw an excellent performance from them against Tottenham the other day, apart from them slipping up in the last 10 or 15 minutes.
At the end of the season, all our loan players, all our players out of contract, we’ll look at their situations. At £800,000 a place in the league, we have to consider that the higher we finish the more revenue it generates. We’ll inevitably try one or two of the young players over the rest of the season, but it won’t be a big change, it’ll be a minor change. We have no extra injuries, just James Tomkins and George McCartney at the moment. The rest of the squad is fine.
We know City have quality players. They have the likes of Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, and it will my job and that of my team-mates to stop them. They have quality throughout the side, but we are five games unbeaten and keen to finish the season as strong as (we can).
We have got ourselves in a good position so why wouldn’t we want to keep that going and see where we can get to with the last four games?We are looking forward to the run-in, as we want to keep this going.
We know that facing them on their own ground is going to be extra tough because as the former champions they will still want to finish the season well and grab that second place. Even though they haven’t got the title back they have an FA Cup final to go for and they will want to finish well. We were unlucky not to beat them back at Upton Park earlier in the season – our captain Kevin [Nolan] had a goal which was deemed offside and it ended up being a 0-0 draw.