Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s trip to Villa Park, here is a round of up all the pre-match talk. For City, Manuel Pellegrini and Alvaro Negredo share their thoughts. For Villa, Paul Lambert and Brad Guzan preview the game.
I am sure nobody is thinking about Bayern Munich. We are all thinking about Aston Villa. We know it is a strong team playing at home. We need to play a very good game if we want to win and we need to win away now.
We have lost one away and drawn the other, for different reasons. It is in the past so I don’t continue talking about those games but tomorrow we have the opportunity to win against Aston Villa. It is very important for us to reach the first position of the table.
If we repeat what we did against Manchester United, very near. But all the games are different, performances are different, the squads are different. The important thing is we see the same team but with different names.
Derby day was a very beautiful day for this club, we were very happy and it will give us a lot of confidence going forward but we have to put that to one side and concentrate on Aston Villa now. Villa are a good team with lots of talented, young players and we will have to play at the same level we showed against United and Wigan if we are going to take the three points. But we are confident in our own abilities – we’re doing fine, playing well and now the goal is to continue playing in this way.
We have new players from all over Europe, but I have played with Navas for a long time and we know each other very well, Fernandinho is a player of immense quality. Jovetic has been affected by injuries he is going to be a phenomenal player for the club – he gave a glimpse of this with goals against Wigan. My feeling is that the quality here is very good.
You need to win your home games. You should have a good solid base at home, but we seem to be doing it the other way around at the moment, winning away from home, and finding it hard at home. I don’t know why that is. It’s strange.
It’s not as if we set our stall out any differently. We always go out to try and win every game we play in, and I’ll never change that. We’ve too many fans who come to watch us, so we can’t sit back. Sometimes we are forced to because visiting teams get on top of you, but we never deliberately set out to defend. We know it’s something we have to put right, to improve, and I’m sure it will come. The law of averages says it will come.
You have to push every game. Against Norwich we pushed the game and we had a few chances. There are going to be points in the game where we take it to them and City take it to us, but it’s all about being accountable as individuals and as a team.
We need to stand up to that pressure and stay strong. When we have our chances we have to take them so it goes both ways, for sure. It’s going to be a tough game for us, hopefully going back to Villa Park with fans behind us we can make it difficult for them. It’s important we stick together, limit their chances and if we do that we’ll have half a chance. The talent in this league, from top to bottom, is first class. You have to be ready as a goalkeeper. For us it will be another challenge and one we can take on board and look forward to.
Arsenal seems a long time ago because of the international break but performances have been OK. Against Newcastle we knew it wasn’t good enough. But against Norwich we wanted to come out and make sure we put in a good performance. Last year was a battle for us and the most important thing was staying up. This year we got a good result at Arsenal and then our performances were there but the results weren’t. To get three points against Norwich was huge.
I just try to help the guys in front of me, if I can make saves then that gives them a boost. It’s about doing my job. As a goalkeeper you’re called on to make saves and come for crosses, if you do that hopefully it makes a difference.
Compiled by Robert Toole