Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
In the scheme of things, City's win over a classicly moaning and scrapping Kev Davies led Bolton was extremely important. Here's how the key actors saw it...
There were plenty of groans around Eastlands and across Planet Blue at Roberto Mancini's team selection. It looked unneccessarily defensive but in hindsight, it got the job done, yet Mancio is far from content:
'I feel good after a victory but if we want to arrive at our targets we must improve. We must win at home, we must win away and we must play better.
It was Ian Curtis lookalike,new signing Adam Johnson who turned the game in City's favour with his explosive running. 'Johnson Division's' Kinladze-eque reading of the game was not lost on Mancio:
'He is a young player who wants to do well. He can play on both the left and the right and he can also play behind the main striker. That is why we bought him. He can continue to grow and I think he can be a very important player for this club.'
And of French legend Patrick Vieira's first 95 minutes in sky blue, Mancio said:
'I played until I was 36 and I was still playing well. I won the Scudetto at that age, so I see no reason why Patrick can't carry on as well. First of all, I hope he can play another 15 games for us in the league this season because his performances are going to be very important.'
Vieira backed up his gaffer's view and was as determined as ever in his post match mentality:
'It was my first 90 minutes for quite a long time and we won the game, which was really important after losing at Hull on Saturday. There is a long way to go and we need to keep winning games. Our target is the top four and we believe we are strong enough to get there.'
Meanwhile, new Bolton boss Owen Coyle saw things very differently, falling back on the money angle that many Blues defeated managers have done throughout this campaign :
'City have a squad that cost over £200 million and we made them look ordinary. If they are honest they will admit they were fortunate.
'We played with lots of spirit and quality but we must be more clinical when chances present themselves. The first five minutes belonged to Man City but I thought that we really took the game to them after that.'
Back to City and our exclusive VMC interview favourite the young Belgian international Vincent Kompany again impressed at centre half, marshalling the defensive line against uncompromising opponents while his skipper Kolo Toure flapped repeatedly. Kompany remains many Blues favoured candidate for captain:
'People who think we should be knocking big scores past sides fighting for their lives are misled and maybe should remember where the club was a couple of years ago.
'The last couple of home games we have perhaps not won in style but we have done it with conviction. Two-nil at home is a convincing result and it gives us confidence for the FA Cup.
'I think the fans should be fairly happy with the way things are going at the moment we are equal fourth with Liverpool and there has been another clean sheet for us and there is nothing much to complain about. Tonight was a very good result for us.
The final word goes to Emmanuel Adebayor who has been to hell and back this year.
The giant striker is running as if his life depends upon it and last night scored his 9th goal in 16 league games for City, taking his and his strike partner Carlos Tevez's combined tally to 28 goals in all competitions this season:
'After Angola I'm just happy to be on a football pitch. When it happened on January 8th, a Friday, around 2pm, I told myself that I might never be on a football pitch again, that I might never score goals any more. But God took a hand. Some people passed away, and you have to be playing for them now - every time you put the shirt on, you have to be scoring for them. You have to enjoy it.'
Ade's goal was his second world class finish in consecutive games at Eastlands:
'I love scoring goals but whenever I do now, I say 'yes, you are scoring goals - you could be in a coffin now, you could be in Paradise, I don't know.' It's very hard."
And of the campaign as a whole, Ade went on:
'The most important thing is to keep trying to win games. I think we are doing it well, we have a lot of good players.
After what happened at Hull it was very important for us to win tonight, so I'm very happy. At home we are playing quite well. But we have to focus on our game away from home and work on that. If we do, we can be dangerous for any team in this league.'
Ade closed with a word for his boss Mancio whose tactics and approach were slated by the on loan and increasingly distrusted Robinho in midweek:
'He's Italian - they like working on tactics. I'm very pleased, he's doing the job well. He's told me to always be in front of the posts, and I'll keep doing my job.'
City can now go into the cup clash at Stoke safe in the knowledge that the campaign to finish 4th is back on track.
VMC City Video Link: Mancio Pitchside Reaction
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Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
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