Friday, 7 March 2014

Pellegrini key to City's FA Cup revenge mission

Pellegrini key to City's FA Cup revenge mission

Last Updated: Friday, March 07, 2014, 12:13
Pellegrini key to City`s FA Cup revenge mission
London: Sergio Aguero hailed Manuel Pellegrini as the perfect manager to lead Manchester City`s trophy charge as his side set their sights on FA Cup revenge against Wigan.

Pellegrini has made a big impact at City since arriving from Malaga last year and he celebrated his first silverware in English football last weekend when Sunderland were beaten in the League Cup final.

That success at Wembley could be the first of many for Pellegrini according to Aguero, who has been impressed with the way the Chilean has brought calmness and composure to a club that struggled to avoid negative headlines under previous boss Roberto Mancini.

"Every manager is different, and with Manuel what he does is he talks a lot to all of us and treats every player the same," Aguero said.

"This is important. He says things to motivate us and that`s good. I`m pleased as the League Cup is the first trophy for Manuel.

"We`ve adapted quite quickly to his way of playing and I`m pleased as he`s given us a lot of guidance."

Pellegrini`s next challenge is avenge one of the most embarrassing defeats in the club`s history.

Last year`s 1-0 FA Cup final defeat against Wigan was one of the competition`s all-time great Wembley upsets and it proved the final straw for City`s board, who sacked Mancini in the immediate aftermath.

Ben Watson`s last-gasp winner against City was Wigan`s final fling as a top-flight club and they were relegated just days later.

Now a Championship club hoping to sneak into the play-offs, Wigan are unlikely to pose a major threat to City`s ambitions of returning to Wembley for the semi-finals.

With the Premier League title also still within reach, City could enjoy their greatest ever season and Argentina striker Aguero added: "I`d love to win the treble and I think we can aim for that."

In the other last-eight ties, most of the attention will be focused on north London, where Arsenal host Everton looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2009.

The Gunners` Premier League title challenge suffered a setback with a 1-0 defeat at Stoke last weekend, leaving the Cup as their best hope of ending a nine-year trophy drought.
But Everton have no reason to fear Arsene Wenger`s side after drawing 1-1 at the Emirates earlier this season

Boss Roberto Martinez doesn`t expect Arsenal to suffer a hangover from that loss at Stoke, but he insists his side will go on the offensive.

"The whole squad is ready. It`s a glamorous tie and we want to give it our best shot," Martinez said.

"We will have to be at our best. You have to find a way to be effective against a team like Arsenal.

"Arsenal are always ready, they can perform without looking at what happened in the previous game.

"It`s going to be a really good game of football. We just need to be effective and have a real threat."

Sunderland travel to Hull bidding to secure an instant return to Wembley following their League Cup final heartache.

Gus Poyet`s team led for the first 55 minutes before surrendering to City`s superior firepower and midfielder Jack Colback is determined to ensure that isn`t his last taste of Wembley.

"I`m definitely hungry for more. That`s the funny thing, if we win our next game, we will be back there in the semi-finals, so that`s what we have got to aim to do," Colback said.

With League One giant-killers Sheffield United hosting Championship strugglers Charlton there will be at least one club from outside the Premier League in the semi-finals.


Arsenal v Everton (1245GMT)

Hull v Sunderland (1400GMT), Manchester City v Wigan (1605GMT), Sheffield United v Charlton (1200GMT)
AFP ----------------

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