Points more important than another goal fest for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur, says Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester City are not expecting to put six goals past Tottenham Hotspur for the second time this season when the sides meet again in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Tottenham’s humiliating 6-0 defeat at the Etihad in November proved to be one of the last games in charge for their manager Andre Villas-Boas but his successor Tim Sherwood has made a solid start in the job.
“It’s important that I know that our team will go there and try to win the game,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Tuesday.
“I think the way we played against them here was not a usual game, normally you can’t score six goals against Tottenham.”
City are second in the Premier League, one point behind Arsenal and seven ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, who Pellegrini believes can still win the title.
“I don’t think that we are just three teams in the title race,” he said. “I think Tottenham continue with chances, Everton and Liverpool continue with chances and Manchester United continue with chances.”
City will be without the injured James Milner, Javi Garcia and Samir Nasri at White Hart Lane but in-form Alvaro Negredo is fit along with fellow striker Sergio Aguero who scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-2 FA Cup win over Watford.
“Sergio played without problem for the 90 minutes and he is OK, he has no problem to play tomorrow,” Pellegrini said.
City recovered from two goals down to beat Championship side Watford and Pellegrini thinks his team will have learned from their lacklustre first-half display.
“It was a good lesson, because in football the difference between a win and a loss is very, very slight. So I think that was a good lesson,” he said.
“Maybe in that match we didn’t have the motivation that we need, supposing that we are going to win in another way.
“The only way to win is to play well and if you don’t play well it’s very hard to win against a Championship team or Premiership team.”
Tottenham’s recent improvement has coincided with the return to form of their former City striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
“The results say that they improve a lot, they’ve won four games of the last five they played,” Pellegrini said.
“I saw the last two games that they played and they are playing very well. I think it’s always important to have a striker like they have Adebayor in a good moment and I’m sure we are going to have a tough game against them.”