Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini urges caution in Cardiff

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists there is no chance of his team underestimating Cardiff this weekend.

City made an impressive start to their Barclays Premier League campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

They will hope to continue in much the same vein as they take on the promoted Bluebirds at the Cardiff City Stadium, but Pellegrini is taking nothing for granted.

The occasion will be a big one for Cardiff, the match being their first at home in the top flight for 51 years, and they will need little motivation as they seek their first win of the season.

Dismissing any prospect of complacency, Pellegrini said: "We are not going to make that mistake.

"We know Cardiff are a very difficult team. We know they are at home and are in the first season.

"We will need to play an excellent game without errors to get another three points."

But Cardiff are warned that Pellegrini has no plans to change the approach that proved so effective against Newcastle.

City overran the Magpies with a high-tempo, attack-minded game from the outset, indicating clearly that new manager Pellegrini's input has already had an effect.

Pellegrini said: "We are trying to play everywhere the way I think is better for us.

"We played a very good game in the way I want this team to play.

"It is not only because we scored four goals and we had a clean sheet, but in the way we played - we are a very aggressive team - that is very important to me.

"It is just the beginning but it was a very good start."

City are hoping defender Matija Nastasic will be fit to replace injured captain Vincent Kompany in central defence.

The Serbian was expected to miss the first month of the season after suffering an ankle injury in July but returned to training this week after making a speedy recovery.

His return would be timely after Kompany limped off during the second half against Newcastle with a groin injury and now faces a month on the sidelines.

With Micah Richards also injured, City's central defensive options are otherwise limited.

Midfielder Javi Garcia came on to partner Joleon Lescott in the back line for the closing minutes against Newcastle.

Dedryck Boyata, who has not played for the club since the end of the 2010-11 season, is the only other fit centre-back.

The Belgian, 22, fell out of favour under previous boss Roberto Mancini and has had loan spells at Bolton and FC Twente in the last two seasons.


From Belfast Telegraph