Ahead of tomorrow evening’s game away at West Ham here is a round up of the pre-match talk. Manuel Pellegrini previews the game for City. For West Ham, Sam Allardyce and Jussi Jaaskelainen share their thoughts.
Vincent (Kompany) is working hard, he is not ready to play, but I hope that next week he will do. Demichelis played 45 minutes with the under 21s on Wednesday and I think he is the same shape as Kompany – I hope that next week he will be ready. Jack Rodwell has no problem, he is fit.
If we go and see the statistics of the games we’ve played away, of course it must be a worry for us. It’s a thing we must improve and we must work hard defensively as a team. Of course we are worried about that; we have one point from nine, so we need to win.
They are a very strong team and we are aware of that. I don’t know what he [Allardyce] will do, but maybe he will try the same as Villa did against us with nine or ten men behind the ball and try to get us on the counter attack. But we must prevent a lot of the unnecessary mistakes or fouls, keep our concentration and continue the way we are playing.
In terms of results they’ve been a little bit Jekyll and Hyde. [They are] absolutely fantastic at home and unfortunately for them they’ve not won away from home yet – lost two and drawn one. We have to be encouraged by that. Last year we had a fantastic 0-0 against them.
I am concerned about the fact that we only run with three centre-halves. So James (Tomkins) being out is a particular problem for me because I have to run with only two central defenders now, James Tomkins and Winston Reid, for however long it takes James to get fit again, that is my big concern.
He [Collins] has been excellent and he has been very unfortunate that I decided to leave him out. It wasn’t that he was playing badly it is just that I thought James (Tomkins) in the Cardiff game in the Capital One Cup gave a fantastic performance and that fantastic performance got him in the team.
If City turn up and play their best it is going to be extremely difficult for us to do anything, but we will see. Last season our home form was fantastic, but this season we have had two defeats already so we want to make sure that if we can’t win the game, we don’t lose it, that is our main aim.
I wouldn’t take a draw now, but if things don’t go our way and City plays a good game, it is going to be hard to beat them, but we have to make sure that we are hard to beat as well.
Compiled by Robert Toole