Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry is adamant that the team cannot afford any more slip-ups as they look to reignite their title challenge.
City lost at Aston Villa in their last Premier League game thanks to a debut goal from Darren Bent. The defeat has left them 9 points adrift of leaders Manchester United and 4 points behind second-placed Arsenal.
“After a defeat, it is always important to start winning again really quickly,” said Barry.
“We can’t afford to lose more ground because before we know it we will start to slip down the table, so it is a massive game for us. It is important that we do keep looking up.”
Balotelli wants derby return.
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has set the derby fixture with Manchester United as a return date as he continues his recovery from an ongoing knee injury.
City boss Mancini was relieved to discover the Italian did not need further surgery on a troublesome knee complaint, which has kept him out since the end of December.
“I hope everything is okay with Mario,” said Mancini. “I think he could be ready for the derby.”
Meanwhile City midfielder Gareth Barry hopes Edin Dzeko can push on from his goal against Notts County in Balotelli’s absence.
“Strikers thrive on confidence, so I hope this settles him down and it can be the first of many because Edin can be a big star for Manchester City.”
Palermo claim City Pastore interest.
Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini has claimed that Manchester City contacted him over the possibility of signing the Serie A side’s 21-year-old playmaker Javier Pastore.
However the deal was prevented from entering further negotiations, as Zamparini struggled to understand English. Zamparini revealed that a senior member of City’s staff contacted him on Monday.
“Yesterday the team manager from Manchester City called me. But I cannot speak English so I asked for a fax, but never heard back from them.
“In any case had he asked me about Pastore I would have said he is not for sale. If the (City owner) Sheikh (Mansour) wants to do something crazy, then let it be.”Barry keen on consistency.”