Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City will not let Sunday’s derby be a distraction when they host Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup tonight.
City take on Alan Pardew’s side in the fourth round of the competition at The Etihad ahead of Sunday’s game against Manchester United.
Pellegrini called for focus in what is a busy period for City as they also face CSKA Moscow next Wednesday in the Champions League.
“We are just thinking about Newcastle,” said the Chilean. “When we finish against Newcastle we will start to think about United and the Premier League.
“It is very important for the club to win trophies. That is why it doesn’t matter in which competition we are playing, we are trying to win all four competitions in the same way.”
City are the holders of the Capital One Cup and Pellegrini has often fielded a strong side while other big teams rest key players.
“I transmit the mentality to the players that every game you play is one you must try to win. If you ask me if I prefer to win the Premier League,” he added.
“That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to win the Capital One Cup, which is why we are involving the whole squad in this game.”
Frank Lampard will miss tonight’s clash through injury and is also likely to miss the derby on the weekend.
Pellegrini confirmed that Samir Nasri will be included in the squad having been unavailable for the past four weeks after undergoing a groin operation.
“Frank Lampard has a muscle injury but all the other players in the squad are fit,” Pellegrini said.
“Samir Nasri is working normally and he is in the squad list for tomorrow.”
City will be looking for an improved performance having lost to 2-1 to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.
The side received criticism for their poor finishing but this has not discouraged Pellegrini who still holds hopes of defending their league crown.
“We didn’t score the three or four chances that we had and we couldn’t add three more points, but all the teams will drop points,” he added.
“Last year we had the same criticisms that we must change the way we play away because out of the first 18 points we only won four.
“But this year this was the first defeat in six or seven games that we played away. Things change but we are always looking to improve.”
Main image courtesy of Alex Morton/Action Images, with thanks.