Ahead of tomorrows game against Hull City here is a round up of all the pre-match talk. Manuel Pellegrini and Sergio Aguero share the City perspective whilst Steve Bruce and Sone Aluko talk up Hull’s chances. See what they have to say below:
(There is) nothing new with Vincent. Doctors said from the beginning it could last for six weeks. We will see next week how he improves but less than one month is impossible. Yes, Nastasic is able to play from the beginning. I think that Javi (Garcia) didn’t do badly (against Cardiff) but he normally plays in midfield. It is Nastasic’s position so I think it is better for the team.
I don’t need to lose a game with Cardiff to know about the Premier League. In football – I know perfectly – it is very difficult in some moments to defend set-pieces. It was a bad game that way but we must improve in the next game because, in every league, it is a very important thing. I saw Hull’s first two games in the Premier League. I thought they played well against Chelsea, especially in the second half. I am sure we will have a very difficult team here, also defending well and trying to counter-attack. We will have to play a very good game if we want to win.
It’s bound to take some time to get used to the ideas of any new manager, but I think this time the process will be quicker. He (Pellegrini) values keeping the ball and offensive, attacking play – that suits us down to the ground. On the players’ side, we are all here to work hard and try our best for him and I think things will go really well. It’s good news for everybody that he wants us to play an exciting brand of football because with this squad, I believe it guarantees the best results.
The Premier League is the best league in the world and within that, you’re going to play against some of the best teams in Europe. In my opinion, Manchester City are up there with those. Our win last weekend gives everybody that bit of confidence that we can play at this level and compete. We’re not saying that we can win the league, but looking at last week I think there’s only been one team at this level that has played for more than 60 minutes with ten men and still got a win.
It’s given everybody a bit of encouragement. As I’ve said though, we know we’re not going to be judged on our performances against the likes of Manchester City, we have to be good against the teams we think realistically we can compete against. It’s a bonus if you get anything from games like the one we’ve got on Saturday, especially when you look at the players they’ve got. But as we saw last week, football, especially in the Premier League, can throw up surprise results.
Unfortunately for us, Manchester City were at the wrong end of one of those last weekend so they’ll want to put things right. We need to be ready for that because we’re certainly in the firing line.
Of course we can take a little bit of encouragement from that result. A game of football is a game of football and if you get a little bit of lady luck your way, the bounce of the ball, they don’t play well and we play to our maximum then we’ve got a chance. But we understand that this is a very difficult game for us. But we prepare just like we prepare for anybody else in the Premier League and let’s enjoy the challenge of it.
If they do (underestimate us), then they won’t do it for long. In this league everybody gets watched, scrutinised and the managers do their homework. A lot of people said Hull will definitely go back down, like we’ll be whipping boys, but I think people will be surprised. We always try to play football, teams will eventually see that.
There aren’t many deficiencies in that City squad but I’m sure the manager has a game plan for us to work on. We can’t follow Cardiff’s plans so to speak, we have different players, so we have to have our own game plan. We won’t be starstruck at all. If you go there starstruck you’ll definitely lose. They won’t want to lose to two newly promoted teams but the Cardiff result gives us confidence it can be done.
Compiled by Robert Toole