Pellegrini revolution key to Manchester City success, says Aleksandar Kolarov
Agence France-Presse in Manchester
Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov believes the attacking philosophy adopted by manager Manuel Pellegrini has also helped his side become tighter at the back ahead of their Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday.
City are the second most prolific team in the Premier League with 80 goals this season with only leaders Liverpool (88) having found the net more often.
Pellegrini's title-chasers have also conceded just 28 goals which gives them the second meanest defence in the division behind Chelsea (24) and as a result their goal difference of 52 is the best overall.
Serbia international Kolarov believes defending, particularly in the full-back areas, has become easier because of the attacking intent shown by City, who trail leaders Liverpool by four points but remain favourites to win the title with two games in hand.
"As a fullback I have to think of defending," said Kolarov.
"But if you have a winger against you for example, it is difficult for him if you are always attacking, because he has to follow you.
"I haven't had a lot of problems defensively. There are good players round, but if you are always attacking and running, he has to follow you and then he doesn't have a lot of power to attack you.
"I have also been creating chances, and personally feel I have been having a good season - I hope it can finish this way."
Kolarov was second-choice for the left back position behind Gael Clichy under previous manager Roberto Mancini, but has featured more than the France international this season.
The 28-year-old has made 37 appearances so far, which equalled his best tally for City set in his debut campaign of 2010-11, even though he admitted he almost left the club last year.
"Last season, because I didn't play a lot, I was thinking maybe it was a good thing for me to move," Kolarov added.
"I had a couple of opportunities but in the end I refused everything because I didn't want to leave here when I hadn't shown people what I could do.
"Now I have this opportunity and have shown what I can do, so for me personally this is a victory."
City are set to have Sergio Aguero available as they look to get their title bid back on course against Southampton after a 1-1 draw at Arsenal last time out.
The Argentina forward has been out for three weeks with a hamstring injury he sustained in City's Champions League exit to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.