Man City’s Pellegrini sticks to his game plan
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STORY: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini dismissed their goalless draw with Everton as “an accident” and is confident they can return to form against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday (January 16).
Pellegrini’s team were frustrated in Wednesday’s league stalemate with Everton, who withstood heavy pressure from the hosts.
City had 12 attempts at goal, five of which were on target, but Everton managed to hold on thanks to goalkeeper Tim Howard, who made several brilliant saves to deny Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.
“We can’t be worried after playing that way. It was very strange the team didn’t score — it’s an accident that happens in football sometimes,” Pellegrini told reporters on Friday.
The Chilean coach said teams often sought to frustrate City by keeping eight or nine players behind the ball, but this would not change his side’s approach to games.
“We must continue to play in the same way and trust we will score goals,” he said.
City have suffered no fresh injuries following Wednesday’s game although Fernandinho, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri and Patrick Roberts remain out and will miss Saturday’s game.
“Probably one or two of the players will be fit next week,” Pellegrini said.
City, who are third in the league and three points behind leaders Arsenal after 21 games, will hope to gain some momentum against eighth-placed Palace, having not won back-to-back league games since early October.
City have agreed to sign Australian midfielder Anthony Caceres from Central Coast Mariners, the A-League club said in a statement on Friday.
The 23-year-old will become the Premier League club’s first signing of the January transfer window.
Reports in the Australian media have suggested Caceres could be loaned to City’s sister club Melbourne City – the Mariners’ A-League rivals – as he does not hold a European passport and so might struggle to gain a work permit.
Caceres, who has made 62 league appearances for the Mariners since joining them in 2012, has not played for the A-League’s bottom club since the end of December, when reports that he was about to leave emerged.
Mariners confirmed his transfer on their website (http://www.ccmariners.com.au). The fee was not disclosed.
“When I brought Anthony Caceres to the Mariners his potential was obvious,” Mariners coach Tony Walmsley said. “This move demonstrates how far Anthony has progressed.”