Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday September 24 2009
City made more than hard work of dispatching Fulham in the Carling Cup Third Round last night. Here's how the two managers saw it on an apathetic Manchester night...
'Fulham are very well organised and got plenty of people behind the ball. It was difficult to break them down. We had to be patient. We stuck at it and are in the hat for the next round which was the order of the day. We are pleased about that.'
Sparky reckoned Sunday's derby had a big effect upon the team's jaded performance:
'You have got to understand how much effort and how much emotion there was in the derby. The players were a little bit drained but kept going. Obviously coming from behind is difficult.'
'I was disappointed we could not take it to penalties, but I am not disappointed with the team as they gave me everything. I thought we could give Manchester City a game and make it difficult for them. But we took it to an even better level.'
Hodgson had changed the entire eleven players that were beaten by Wolves at the weekend:
'To find ourselves at 1-1 going into extra-time was more than we could have hoped for, but we deserved it. I have got a pretty good idea now of which players I can trust.'
So City go through to the next round alongside a host of other Premier League sides. Considering the excellent start the side have made to the new campaign, many Blues will be prepared to forgive last night's groan-athon. But concerns over the City boss's apparant unwillingness to explore options and change things at the earliest opportunity when it isn't going for us have resurfaced in the past week.
On the plus side, Sparky has sensibly ensured that the nucleus of his revitalised squad have had plenty of consistent playing time together in the season's opening seven games.
The Blues have four days or so now to recharge the batteries before Roque Santa Cruz's debut against West Ham United at Eastlands next Monday night.
The Carling Cup Fourth Round Draw will be made on Sky Sports News at 12h15 BST this Saturday.
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Date:Thursday September 24 2009
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