Zabaleta: The derby is special
- 24 March 2014 07:59
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
As the clock ticks down to tomorrow's all-important Manchester derby, what's in the headlines this morning?
According to the website, the Argentine stated: "It doesn't matter, the situation of United. The game is special for both teams.
"We know how important it is to win the game for the players, the fans, the club. That is why we need to go there and try to win the game.
"We know Chelsea at the moment are on the top and even if we have got three games in hand we need to win there and see what happens next game.
"We have won at Old Trafford recently and hopefully we can do it again - but it is not just the United game. We need to win all of them."
Zabaleta also discussed the Blues title chances, declaring: "Hopefully, it won't be the same as last time we won the title because it is going to be difficult.
"But as I have said before, we just need to keep focused on what we are doing now. We need to try to win every game but everything is in our hands.
"We don't have an excuse now. We only have Premier League games and we have time to recover well between the games.
"We know it is going to be very tough until the end but we have a great team, we have belief enough to win this title.
"Everything depends on us. We just need to keep working hard and winning games. Hopefully we can celebrate something at the end of this season."
We hope that's the case, Zabba!
Manuel Pellegrini has also spoken ahead of the derby but has advised his side to remember that as sweet as a victory on Tuesday night would be, the title will not be won on the final whistle and there is still a long way to go.
According to the Daily Mail, he asserted: "We have 30 points from now until the end of the season to play for and we’ll try to win the most amount of points we can.
"Maybe we can win at Manchester United and then lose here against Southampton and the title is gone so every game has the same importance and we must start against Manchester United and hope we do as well as we did against Fulham.
"‘It’s always important for a new manager in his first season here in the Premier League to win the derby. Maybe if you don’t win here at home [against United] the fans are not so happy so that first was one of the important games of the season. I know for the fans to beat United is special.
"We’ll see the way we play against United but we will continue playing with the same philosophy. It’s an important game - a derby - for us, it’s one of the three postponed matches, so three points more are very important. The best way is to continue what we’re doing so far.
"Knowing that United were the last champions of course I expected to play against them here and at Old Trafford fighting against them for the title.
"Maybe the year for Manchester United has not gone as well as last season but they’re always a very important team with good players and I’m sure on Tuesday they’ll want to win and we’ll have a tough game."
And finally, football pundit Alan Hansen has revealed his thoughts on the title race in the Telegraph, suggesting that the Blues will only have themselves to blame if they end the season without the Premier League crown.
He writes: "This is the week which could make or break Manchester City's title hopes and Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure to ensure his first season is not judged as a failure.
"City may have lifted the Capital One Cup earlier this month but anything other than first place in the Premier League is going to represent a massive disappointment, for the owners and the manager.
"With away games against Manchester United and Arsenal in the next six days we will see how City respond when they are coming down on the final stretch and, of course, they have still got a major chance of winning the title.
"They are hardly a team in the doldrums after thumping Fulham 5-0 on Saturday and if they play well, nobody can touch them in the league.
"If they win at Old Trafford and the Emirates I would say they will win the title, yet there is always that uncertainty and unpredictability with City."
I think the phrase you're looking for is 'Typical City', Alan. Although I'd like to think that tag is obsolete nowadays!
That's all for today. Join us at the same time tomorrow on mcfc.co.uk for more City-related media speculation!