Aguero return vital for Pellegrini

Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is looking forward to getting Sergio Aguero back to full fitness after admitting his side lacked a cutting edge in the 1-1 draw at Everton.

The Chilean blamed missing a number of first-half chances for the two dropped points at Goodison Park after Steven Naismith’s header cancelled out Fernandinho’s 74th-minute goal.

Aguero scored 19 goals in 23 matches before being sidelined by injury and although he came off the bench after more than a month out of action, he could not alter the result.

However, Pellegrini believes with a full week of training behind him, the Argentina international will be ready to restore City’s sharpness up front.

“It is important for the team. Sergio just worked two or three days with the squad this week, and now he has a full week to continue working,” said Pellegrini, who refused to discuss the controversy around Frank Lampard’s contractual issues.

“I think we really dominated the game, especially in the first half, and we had clear chances but we didn’t score.

“Really we must make a difference in the first 45 minutes when we played very well. We created a lot of chances but we finished in the wrong way.

“It (Aguero’s return) is important for the team. Sergio worked for just two or three days with the squad but now he has a full week to continue working.

“I hope he will return in a few days and perform how he did before he was injured.”

City conceded their equaliser just four minutes after they had taken the lead, but Pellegrini defended his side despite them not closing out victory.

“Fifteen minutes are a lot minutes. Sometimes you cannot think just because you are winning 1-0 and have 15 minutes to play that you have already won the game,” he said.

“We knew Everton are a difficult team at set-pieces, they had their chances and they scored.”

The draw saw City lose ground on Chelsea, who have now opened up a two-point cushion at the top of the Premier League, but Pellegrini was not too concerned.

“Every one will drop points from now until the end of the season. I never thought before the game this was an easy one to play,” he added.

After four successive league defeats Everton manager Roberto Martinez was impressed with how his side dug themselves out of a hole.

“I thought it was a bit of an old-fashioned game; a lot of character and grit in difficult conditions,” he said.

“The first half we allowed City to have a little bit too much space even though we defended the area well and we stopped them being effective in the areas where David Silva and Samir Nasri operate.

“This City side are playing with a lot of confidence and they drag you out of position and play with good awareness of space.

“We came up with the best chance of the game with Joe Hart producing the save of the game (from Romelu Lukaku) and then we hit the crossbar (from Seamus Coleman’s rebound effort).

“Once Man City scored I thought we upped the tempo, I thought physically we looked really strong and we always looked threatening but defended very well.

“I thought the reaction and character we showed after going 1-0 down was special.

“We would have loved to get the three points but it was a positive performance from our point of view.”

Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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