City Proceed With Caution - Platt: No Targets
Whereas the mantra from The Stretfords remains one of mind gaming to the hacks over experience, Roberto Mancini's management team remain cautious in their output...
City's 1-6 routing of united rcoked their creaking world to the very core and we are still seeing the aftershocks four months on. It's almost as if senior figures in their ranks are continually striving to remind themselves of who they are, or dare we say it, were. They still hold that hex over some clubs whose players become overawed by the fact that are playing the name Manchester united, but little by little, their invincibility has eroded with each scrape through result, meek cup exit or Taggart wary referee.
At Manchester City, the message from the hierarchy remains the same. Keep calm and carry on playing. Having ridden out a testing Christmas and January, The Citizens have remained top of the league for four months, but as coach David Platt reminds us this week, the job of winning the title is nowhere near done. Have City set the points target that Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of late last year:
'No. How could we do that? We could turn around and say we need x points, but x points might not be enough. We just go into every football match looking to get the points and we see where it takes us.'
Roberto Mancini prepares to lead his side into the remaining twelve league games with the benefit of a close to fully fit squad, save for a couple of knocks to the Toure brothers and Owen Hargreaves.
And all of a sudden The Blues are flowing again, threatening to dish out another big pasting of a rival team any day soon. Ahead of struggling Bolton's visit, Platty gave his view on how the squad is set up right now:
'You can play all the beautiful football you want in front of teams but we have to, in the main, go out and break teams down. What was important against Blackburn was not only did we move it around and keep possession in front of them, but we got into some dangerous areas as well...
'...we have a rotation of the squad, we move it around. We try to do that when we have a full complement of players, to keep everyone nice and healthy...at the end of the day you will keep 11 happy, another seven slightly happy, and the others will be disappointed when they are not playing in a game....To be honest, that is part and parcel of football.'
all times East Manchester
Sa 03 Mar 15:00 Bolton, The Etihad, PL
Th 08 Mar 18:00 S Lisbon, Estádio José Alvalade, ELR16
Sa 11 Mar 14:00 Swansea, Liberty Stadium, PL
Th 15 Mar 20:05 S Lisbon, The Etihad, ELR16
Mo 19 Mar 20:00 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Sa 24 Mar 17:30 Stoke, Britannia Stadium, PL
Sa 31 Mar 15:00 Sunderland, The Etihad, PL