Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Thursday November 6 2008
City of Manchester Stadium
6th November 2008
After suffering two defeats in a row for the second time this season the club is in real need of a pick me up and although Twente is not a league game a good display tonight will bring a bit of belief back.
Captain Richard Dunne talks about the up and coming European game: "The home games are going to be vital for us, especially the first game in the group, we want to get off to a decent start and hopefully put down a bit of a marker for the other teams."
Dunne then talks about the points needed to progress in this competition: "That`s it. It probably is only six points and you`re through, so the home games are vitally important, if you do get the those wins then come the away games you can settle and take a draw. At home though we need to go and win the games."
He then talks about what the team need to do to take the club forward: "We`re going into the game on a couple of bad results and the pressure for us is to go and win the game.
"We don`t want to have a week were we`ve lost three games so we need to go and win and perform well to get the confidence up with Tottenham coming on Sunday.
"We need to win games at the moment because we haven`t had the results over the last five weeks or so.
"Now we`ve got two games on the trot and home, if we can win them, hopefully it`ll give us a boost going into the away game at Hull."
Twente manager Steve McLaren talks about Mark Hughes and his developing City team: "I think it takes time to develop a team and structure it. It`s very difficult to get the blend and balance and hopefully Mark Hughes will hopefully be given that time.
"He`s got very, very good players and a good team. I think consistency is something that we`re all searching for including Manchester City, but that will come with the players they`ve got.
"All I`m concerned about is the game and I know City`s home record is very good and we`ll have to play very well to get a result.
"I`ve watched them closely in recent weeks since the draw and they don`t seem to be getting results away from home at the present time.
"The home form is very good and with the players they`ve got they`re capable of winning games and scoring goals. So it`s going to be a difficult game for us here."
Hughes could be without skipper Richard Dunne for the clash as he is struggling with fluid on his knee and will undergo a late fitness test.
Striker duo Benjani Mwaruwari (thigh) and Darius Vassell (knee) could come back into contention after returning from their injury lay-offs with the reserves.
Defender Michael Ball (ankle) is also pushing for a place in Hughes' plans, but winger Martin Petrov is facing four months out with a knee problem.
Michael Johnson is back in training but he is yet to be in contention as he is a little while off being ready.
Also Jo has still been absent from the squad for a few games but appears to be ready to play this evening.
Was City's best player against Bolton in a turgid display and tried to gain possession in dangerous places and forced Jaaskelainen into at least one good save.
Twente have Perez and Brauma available after they were unavailable for their last game where they lost two nil to Ajax.
The young attacking dutch midfielder has scored a few goals this season for Twente.
We have played each other once before in the UEFA cup in September 1978 over two legs where the first leg ended one all at Twente but City won the second leg three two at Maine Road.
Twente have never beaten an English side and are terrible travellers in Europe, having been beaten on all of their last six away trips playing outside Holland.
However Steve McLaren boasts a very good record against City; in the eight games played he has never been beaten winning five and drawing three of them.
Nikolay Ivanov - St Petersburg born Russian referee who has not referee'd higher than the last 32 of the UEFA cup. He was referee between Hearts and Schalke and according to Hearts reports had a poor game.
They will cause us a few problems but now that Hughes has more striking options the players I feel will play to a higher standard and I think we will run out comfortable victors. MCFC 3 - 1 FCT
Tottenham Hotspur FC at the City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday 9th November with a 3pm Kick off.
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Date:Thursday November 6 2008
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