So ‘Solid’ Crew: Man City’s Sagna tips new boy Otamendi to toughen team up

In a week Manchester City have gone from dismantling champions Chelsea, to buying Nicolas Otamendi and now to looking ruthlessly ahead to their next fixture.

Just ask defender Bacary Sagna.

The former Arsenal man says the Chelsea result is a thing of the past and with Argentine Otamendi now in their ranks nothing less than three points against Everton on Sunday will do.

“I have seen Otamendi play a few times, especially when he was at Porto alongside Elia where they both looked very solid,” Sagna told City’s website, referring to another teammate in Eliaquim Mangala.

“He is an Argentina international, has good ability on the ball and is quite calm in possession so I think he will be a great addition to our squad.

“We have to forget about Chelsea now – that game is in the past now and we need to set the same standards, pace and energy levels against Everton.”

With two wins from two, both 3-0 victories though last Sunday’s Chelsea defeat was the more eye-catching, Sagna said City must press against Everton from the off given Roberto Martinez’s side have also kicked off impressively with a win and a draw.

“We’ve started the season the way we wanted to do and we have some good momentum. It’s obviously important to win your opening games but it’s the way we’ve played that has been pleasing.

“We need to take things game by game and keep going by playing with the same style and confidence.

“Everton have always been a difficult team to play against, especially on their own ground. They have really good young players, many of who play for their country such as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.

“So this won’t be an easy game for us – but we want to keep setting the pace, go there to win and show our intentions from the first minute on.”

Sagna’s good form will be a welcome relief for manager Manuel Pellegrini with Argentine right-back Pablo Zabaleta out for up to a month after a knee injury suffered in training.

Meanwhile Otamendi, 27, is just focused on reaching the pinnacle of his career after stints with Porto and Valencia, having won the 2011 Europa League with the Portuguese outfit.

“Obviously what every player wants is to improve and go higher and higher,” he said after signing from Valencia on a five-year deal worth £32million.

“Today I am here at City, happy to be part of this club and to be playing in the Premier League.

“I like to have all the lines well organised in defence to allow midfielder and strikers to attack without worries. I like to keep defensive order in the team.”

Pellegrini made it fairly obvious what he thought of Thursday’s latest recruit to his ranks.

“Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La Liga last season and so naturally I’m delighted to have added a player of his quality,” the Chilean said yesterday.

Image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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