Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday March 29 2010
The City Of Manchester Stadium
Monday 29th March 2010
Challenge No.3 of City's 10 game mini-season comes in the form of unpredictable Wigan at an Eastlands fortress breached by Everton. Talk of games in hand is done with. Time to deliver...
A Bumper crop of City players headed for the microphones this week. The Eastlands Senior Steward was unavailable for comment...
'I just want the players to treat every game like it's a Champions League final and always give 200% for the team. This is the only way we can improve and get to where we want to be. In many ways, our destiny is still in our own hands.'
'Every football club, every manager has their own pressures in their own way, so I have no time to feel sympathy for anyone else. But, to be fair, Roberto Mancini is such a talented manager I think he will be able to cope with any pressure. This is a one-off game and I expect Man City to be their normal brave selves and we are going to have to be at our very best.'
'You can't keep changing managers. Every time the players have to adapt to a new strategy and the thinking of the new manager, which is really difficult and takes time. With Roberto we're starting to know what he really wants and he's working well.'
'I can't remember a game where we have not performed well after a defeat. We lost before the Chelsea game and we came back to win that one. It has happened plenty of times before so I don't think people should worry about the mental strength of our team. We have proved that enough. What we should do is stop having to do it. We want to stay on a good run until the end of the season.'
Nigel De Jong:
'We are behind Tottenham but we have got them at home as well. We have got everything in our own hands and it starts Monday against Wigan.You have got to be realistic - it is not going to be an easy game. Every game for us is a final now. Everybody wants to beat City.'
'It is too early to say who is going to claim that fourth spot. We are still in the thick of the mix and still fighting that's for sure - and I believe we have a great chance. But the key thing for us is to get back to winning ways and get above Tottenham.'
'We can just go for it. We don't have to worry. We have the quality in our side to do that and we will bounce back. What we have to do now is make sure that we use the loss as a springboard. We have to launch ourselves on a winning run again. There are no ifs and buts. We have eight cup finals and we have to win them all starting against Wigan on Monday night. It is all about confidence and momentum at this stage of the season. We have plenty of experienced heads in the dressing room - players who have won titles, Champions Leagues and a World Cup.
'I think we'll put the Everton game behind us quite quickly and kick on again. People have made too much of it.'
Emmanuel Adebayor returns from suspension to lead City's attack.
Stephen Ireland, who City desperately need to get back into defence unlocking form faces a late fitness test.
Wayne Bridge, Michael Johnson, Martin Petrov and Joleon Lescott remain sidelined.
City need Ade back to his best for these final weeks of the season.
Of our two big target men, outside of his two suspensions and African Nations Cup unavailability and Roque Santa Cruz's relentless injuries, neither of them has shown enough consistent effort and application to warrant being first choices on the strikers team list.
As Crocky again struggles, this is Ade's chance to really make a name for himself at Manchester City. If he can produce what he is capable of and take the load off El Apache, City will qualify for the Champions League.
Charles N'Zogbia and Emmerson Boyce are doubtful.
We've been monitoring 22 year old Diame at VMC for a while and he's been instrumental in some of Wigan's better performances this season.
Recently compared to our own Paddy Vieira, he could well be coming up against City's World Cup winner!
Top Scorers tonight (all competitions): Tevez 22, Rodallega 9.
Bogey side alert. City have faced Wigan 9 times since The Latics were promoted to the top flight. The Blues have won 1 of those games.
The Citizens have failed to score at home in the last two fixtures.
The Latics have won only 2 of their last 11 matches.
Wigan have notoriously rolled over for certain sides this season when the mood has taken them, shipping 59 league goals in this campaign. The 3rd worst record of conceding after Burnley and Hull.
Follow the action and debate Live on Monday night in the VMC Match Day Thread for the visit of Wigan in our new look forums!:
City v Wigan Athletic - Match Day Thread - Monday 29th March 2010 KO: 8.00pm
S Attwell, Warwickshire. Mr. Attwell takes charge of his fourth City game of the season having overseen cup victories against Fulham, Middlesbrough and the notorious 3-3er against Burnley. He's reffed Wigan once at Sunderland last month where he booked 9 players. Otherwise an average card flourishing record across this campaign. Current season record: Games:23, Yellow Cards:80, Red Cards:3
Only a fortnight ago, we were talking of City battering a side before too long if the team performed in a consistent top gear. But down to earth we all came with a crash against Everton. City have found ourselves written off in some quarters since that defeat and historically, that's when this squad tend to bounce back. All talk of the squad cracking under the pressure will be set aside if The Blues can dispense with Wigan. And we need to. That Everton defeat could well prove to be a much needed, timely wake up call and I think we'll see a strong City response now that Spurs and Liverpool have turned up the heat in the race for fourth. Nevermind Wigan's quest for safety, it's time to get ruthless, City. Johnny On The Spot: CITY 4 Wigan 0
A : Burnley, Sat 03 Apr 17h30 GMT+1
H: Birmingham, Sun 11 Apr 16h00 GMT+1
H: The rags, Sat 17 Apr 12h45 GMT+1
A: Arsenal, Sat 24 Apr 17h30 GMT+1
H: Aston Villa, Sat 01 May 15h00 GMT+1
H: Spurs, Wed 05 May 20h00 GMT+1
A: West Ham, Sun 09 May 15h00 GMT+1
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Date:Monday March 29 2010
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