Pellegrini unfazed over City record

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Published: Saturday 27th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no interest in records as he bids to maintain the champions’ winning momentum.

City equalled a long-standing club best as they chalked up a ninth successive win in all competitions by beating West Brom 3-1 on Boxing Day.

Their feat matches one first recorded by the club in 1910 and last achieved during their hot streak of autumn 2011, which memorably included a 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United.

They now have a good chance to go one better as they host relegation battlers Burnley in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, but Pellegrini is taking no notice of statistics.

The Chilean said: “Really I am not aware of the records. We just want to continue adding points because it will be a very close fight for the title this year and we want to keep our title.”

City have played some superb football in recent weeks, making light of the absence of all their recognised strikers through injury.

Stevan Jovetic did make the bench at The Hawthorns after recovering from a hamstring injury but was not required as City raced into a 2-0 lead within 13 minutes.

Fernando opened the scoring as he pounced on a Ben Foster error and Yaya Toure doubled the lead with a penalty after David Silva was fouled by former team-mate Joleon Lescott.

Silva made it 3-0 with a well-taken third 11 minutes before half-time and West Brom claimed a consolation three minutes from time as Joe Hart missed a corner and the ball ricocheted in off Brown Ideye.

The victory kept City within three points of Chelsea at the top of the table but there is little time to reflect before Sunday’s game.

Pellegrini said: “This is very rare for me. Before 72 hours it is not good to play (again) but we know how it is here, in the Premier League. It is difficult for all the teams.

“The important thing is not to have an advantage for any one team.”

Jovetic could come back into contention for City, who have operated in their last two games with midfielder James Milner as a makeshift centre-forward.

Captain Vincent Kompany, the team’s talismanic central defender, could also return after hamstring and calf problems but the other two injured strikers, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, are still out.

Pellegrini is taking nothing for granted against a Burnley side which have shown plenty of fighting spirit of late.

He said: “I have watched some games that they have played and I think they are playing well. I watched their game against Tottenham away.

“They are an offensive team, they play with two strikers and I think they have good players. If you think it is an easy game, you can have great problems.

“So we hope we will play against Burnley the same way we play against any other team.”

Meanwhile, Sam Vokes has told Sean Dyche he is ready to play a full part in Burnley’s fight for Premier League survival as soon as the Clarets boss needs him.

The striker’s 20 goals were crucial in Burnley’s unexpected promotion from the Championship last season but he missed the final few weeks after damaging cruciate knee ligaments in March.

Vokes finally made his comeback as a late substitute in Burnley’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Boxing Day, earning a rousing reception both when his name was read out before the game and when he came on.

The 25-year-old has shown in the development games he played in to build up his fitness that he has not lost his eye for goal and, with Burnley having scored only 12 goals in 18 Premier League matches, there is no doubt he has been missed.

Dyche does not feel he is quite ready to start yet and he will almost certainly be among the substitutes again when the Clarets visit the Etihad.

Vokes said: “It was great to be back. It was obviously a tough one to take with the result, going on how we played, but on a personal note it’s nice to be back out on the pitch.

“I’ve been itching to get back. It’s been a long-term plan and it’s coming together nicely. I got told to aim for the new year so nine months ago I’d probably have taken this.

“I’ve got three or four 90 minutes under my belt now in the reserves and that’s a big thing for me. Whenever the gaffer calls upon me, I’m ready.”

Matt Taylor could be in contention after recovering from Achilles surgery but Michael Duff (calf) and Stephen Ward (ankle) look set to miss out.

Published: Saturday 27th December 2014 by The News Editor

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