Man City slackers must shape up, admits Sagna
Bacary Sagna confesses Manchester City did not give 100 per cent in their 4-2 defeat at Leicester and must show more desire to get their season back on course when they host Watford today.
Pep Guardiola’s side have not won a home league game since the middle of September and the Spaniard suddenly finds himself struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League.
Saturday’s setback against spluttering champions Leicester was the latest blow for a team that opened the season with 10 consecutive wins in all competitions but now find themselves seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
French defender Sagna admits the Leicester embarrassment was unacceptable and he wants to see a positive response. “I’m very disappointed. Even though we scored two goals I can’t be pleased with the way we played because we should be performing better,” Sagna said.
“No matter who’s playing, no matter how many chances we have, we should be able to give 100 per cent and today I don’t have the feeling we did. “We have to analyse what happened. I don’t think we stuck together during the first half. We conceded too many chances and got caught on the break.
“We will be working on it. It was very difficult to play the way we did but in the end we didn’t deserve to be ahead.”
City’s much-criticised defence could be strengthened by the return of Nicolas Otamendi against Watford after a one-match suspension.
But Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho are still serving four and three-game suspensions, respectively, following the recent defeat by Chelsea. And Sagna insisted City’s players need to show better collective spirit if they are to avoid a repeat of the Leicester debacle.
“We’re quite lucky to be part of the club. We’re lucky to be part of the project and we need to react, we need to be conscious, we need to keep working really hard and we need to stick together,” he added.
Meanwhile, despite a worrying run that has brought just four victories in their last 15 games in all competitions, City’s hierarchy insist they will not spend further in the January transfer window. Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, signed for £27 million ($34 million, 32.2 million euros) earlier this year, is scheduled to join the club in the new year and City director of football Txiki Begiristain says he will be the only new arrival.
“We already have done,” he said, when asked if City will strengthen. “We have Jesus coming he will strengthen our attack, so we are happy.”
Watford’s victory over Everton moved Walter Mazzarri’s side up to seventh and the Italian believes the display will provide a timely confidence boost ahead of the trip to Eastlands.
“I have told my players we can fight against any of the Premier League teams for the three points but we need to be 100 per cent,” he said.
Mazzarri admits he was as surprised as anyone at City’s defeat to Leicester but fears the result could work against his own side. “It won’t help us because we will find Man City very angry and very concentrated,” he said.
“We won’t have the luck that they can underestimate us. They won’t underestimate us. “These things can happen in the Premier League. But Manchester City are a great team and a great manager like Guardiola can change the mistakes they made in these couple of games from one match to another and not commit them any more.”
Roberto Pereyra is available again after serving a one-match a ban and the Watford playmaker is expected to come straight back into the starting line-up. — AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Two men take pictures of a screen displaying the AFC Cup football 2017 official draws for playoff and group stages in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. (See Page 18) — AFP