Trophy-chasing City have winning mentality, says Pellegrini
Routine victory over Norwich in FA Cup keeps team on course for four trophies
Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City’s 3-0 stroll against Norwich in the FA Cup third round proved they have a burning desire to achieve the quadruple this season.
Pellegrini’s side remain on course for success in the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Premier League after Saturday’s emphatic victory at Carrow Road.
A sublime strike from Sergio Aguero opened the scoring before Kelechi Iheanacho and Kevin de Bruyne completed the scoring to underline the City’s progress.
“If you want to have a winning mentality and an ambitious mentality, then you must be involved in all the competitions until the end,” Pellegrini said.
“This is just the first step in the FA Cup and we know it’s a beautiful competition. But we are thinking about beating Everton [at home in the Premier League[ on Wednesday, and not about what will happen in the future.
“We’re in the semi-finals of the League Cup, three points off the lead of the Premier League, we’re in the last 16 of the Champions League and we’ve started with the right foot in the FA Cup.
“Winning all four would be very difficult because we have to play so many games, so really we have to just focusing game by game, whatever competition we are playing in.”
What is not up for discussion is how important Argentina forward Aguero and his fitness is to City’s quadruple hopes.
“As Kun plays more minutes, his performance will always improve when he comes back from a long injury,” added Pellegrini, who was without Aguero for the first three weeks of December due to injury.
“Maybe the first game he didn’t play so well. In midweek he made a lot of better moments, and at Norwich he kept doing that and scored a beautiful goal.
“When you have players as important as Sergio he is important for his team-mates, for the manager, for the fans to see him playing in every game - because he is a player that can make the difference.
“But for me the most important thing we are doing this season so far is that without Sergio in a lot of games and other important players, we have stayed in all the competitions.
“We all know how good a player he is, but he's just coming back from injury. We need to keep him fit until the end of the season, and then you can analyse who was the best striker in the Premier League and the best player in the world.”
Pellegrini hopes to have Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and David Silva back for Wednesday’s visit of Everton.
As for Norwich, their season will be defined by their battle to extend their latest Premier League stay beyond one season and manager Alex Neil is well aware of that fact, ahead of an important week for the Canaries.
“We've got a settled way of playing now and this was a one-off game,” said Neil.
“We’ve got to brush this off, that’s what I will be doing and the team will be doing.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t play as well as we should have, however our bread and butter is the league.
“I told the players after the game, that one is gone now. It’s done. We should have done better so now we need to focus on next week because that’s the true test for us.
“I could have put my strongest team out here and we go and lose against one of the best teams in the league, and then they come to the midweek game at Stoke and they’re a bit fatigued and we lose that.
“Then we've got a huge game at Bournemouth on Saturday and they are still a bit fatigued for that as well, you're just making your own problems.”