City take on Everton tomorrow lunch time and in anticipation of the game here is a round up of the pre-match talk. For City, Manuel Pellegrini and James Milner preview the game. For Everton, Roberto Martinez and Romelu Lukaku share their thoughts.
Of course he (Joe Hart) feels that he didn’t do very well [against Bayern Munich], but I think he doesn’t have any problem. He is continuing with the team and with our trust we hope he will recover from the game. After the game I always speak with all the players. I spoke with Joe and we analysed what we did in the game. Joe knows he must improve the way he is playing, but he knows he has our trust.
I will decide tomorrow who will start, I don’t tell you now that Joe hart will play tomorrow, because the players don’t know yet. I think he [Hart] is being pushed hard enough. Costel Pantilimon is a good keeper also; he has all the right attributes to play. He’s working hard and I’m sure that if he must play tomorrow or another day, he will do well.
Jack (Rodwell) just started working with the whole squad yesterday. He is fit, but he will not be included tomorrow, but he is fit. Everybody else is fit, apart from Jovetic who has a couple of small problems.
It’s really important to get three points on the board, especially going into the international break. It was a really disappointing performance and result against Bayern Munich the other night but we have to bounce back – it’s good to have this game coming straight off the back of it two days later as it gives us a chance to show our reaction.
Especially when you go further back and look at the game against Aston Villa where we played really well and never deserved to lose. I’m still not sure how we didn’t win the game, never mind lose it, but I think if we can give a performance of that quality again at home, we could get a result on Saturday.
Everton’s not going to be easy, they’re the only team not to lose a game in the Premier League so far but we’re at home and we’re confident that we can give a good account of ourselves. We have to sustain that level – that’s where the bar is. I know we’re not doing it consistently at the moment but if we can play like that on Saturday then we think we can beat anybody.
There’s disappointment there after Wednesday night. Bayern played very well and you are inevitably going to lose games but it’s when we don’t hit the levels we know we can hit, that’s when we’re disappointed.
We must bounce back, it’s been good to get back on the training field and get the defeats out of our systems. You can’t feel sorry for yourself with the amount of games that we have at the moment. You’ve just got to put a defeat to one side and look ahead to the next game and do the best that you can to get back to winning ways.
We have to remember that Manchester City are a top, top football club. When you are a top football club you know how to move from result to result and competition to competition without carrying any sort of damage with you. I don’t think it was one of those games [versus Bayern Munich] which you can feel hurt by because the quality of the opposition was clear to see. That’s why they are European champions. I don’t think there is any shame to lose against a side like Bayern Munich. You feel like they [Manchester City] will want to respond and get back to winning ways so that’s why we will need to be perfect in many ways. We need to be prepared for a real reaction from Manchester City.
If the league was to finish on Saturday, I would be happy to look back and assess the season so far. It’s down to us to maintain these results. I thought the first half performance against Newcastle was exceptional and in many ways is what we want for 90 minutes, and that’s our target. But to speak about perceptions and achievements is early because we are only six games into the season. That would be foolish. We need to maintain the standards, maintain the level of performances and do it over the 38 games in the season.
I’ll just keep on going. We have a game on Saturday and that’s the next target. Then we have another game after the internationals – I always look ahead. Now we are playing well and each and every member of the team, myself included, has to make profit of it. If I don’t score but a teammate scores and we win, that’s fine. But I’m very happy at how things are going.
We did well in the first half (against Newcastle) and in the second half we made a lot of chances but we didn’t score and they came back into it. That’s something we need to work on – how to keep games easily and not panic. We can do better there but the season is long, we’re playing well and the fans are happy.
Compiled by Robert Toole