Fernandinho says with the same heart displayed in the League Cup on Wednesday Manchester City can reach the FA Cup last 16 this weekend.
City fell 3-1 down on aggregate to Everton but the midfielder’s quick response to Ross Barkley’s opener then Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero goals put City in the final against Liverpool.
Next up in a cup competition are struggling Aston Villa on Saturday (3pm), who occupy last place in the Premier League but for whom the FA Cup could be a way to restore pride this season.
“I hope we can show the same passion and concentration in defending and attacking as we did against Everton and I think this is the best way to play, especially in a knockout competition,” said Fernandinho.
“Of course, playing away means it will be a little different but inside the pitch everyone will be together working hard.
“I treat every competition the same. It’s a very good opportunity to win a title, with only five or six games to get to the final.
“It’s important for the players, for the club to win trophies and to play at Wembley is always special.”
Pellegrini played down the colossal loss of midfield dynamo De Bruyne for around 10 weeks after the Belgian was injured late on in Wednesday’s win.
“We must continue playing with the whole squad if we want to be a competitive team,” said the Chilean.
“It’s an important player less but we must continue with optimism and give responsibility to the squad.
“It’s not our intention to bring in anyone in January. In some moments we couldn’t play with Sergio or David (Silva) and now we play without Kevin.”
With February’s League Cup final reached, City are in contention to win four trophies this season and have a realistic chance of a first Champions League quarter-final berth.
They face Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday February 24 and Tuesday March 15 for a last-eight spot, while they are three points behind top flight leaders Leicester with 15 games remaining.
Fernandinho couldn’t help but recall City’s double-winning form two years ago in Pellegrini’s first season at the Etihad.
“We won the cup in March and then we had so many games after it in the Premier League and Champions League.
“The confidence of the team was high and we showed that on the pitch. I hope this can happen again.”
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