Newcastle v Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini not taking Magpies lightly ahead of 'real fight'

Despite drawing praise for his side's free-scoring run, Pellegrini admits that Newcastle will pose a difficult task

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his team have got a “real fight” on their hands at Newcastle this weekend.

City's recent form has earned plenty of plaudits while Newcastle have had a difficult past fortnight, but Pellegrini sees no room for complacency.

Rampant City are unbeaten in 14 matches stretching back to November, and hit six past West Ham in midweek, while the Magpies have lost their last three in all competitions.

But Alan Pardew's men remain eighth in the Barclays Premier League, 11 points behind City but just six off a Champions League spot.

Pellegrini said: "Of course it will be a real fight.

"Newcastle in the last two games have lost, but when they lost against Arsenal one or two weeks ago they were playing very well and they were fighting for the first position in the table.

"In the FA Cup they lost at home against Cardiff but I am sure that playing at home they will be a very difficult team."

City's demolition of West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, which all but secured a place in the Capital One Cup final, was merely the latest in a growing list of emphatic home victories this season.

Arsenal conceded six at Eastlands, Tottenham were thrashed 6-0 and Norwich 7-0. Champions Manchester United went down 4-1 after another rousing display while Newcastle themselves lost 4-0 there on the opening weekend.

Pellegrini, however, has warned of the dangers of reading too much into those scorelines.

He said: "It always seems the opposition are not very good when you score so many goals but, I repeat, there are no easy games in the Premier League.

"Maybe when you finish the game you might think it was easy because we played very, very well, but not all the games will be exactly the same.

"Maybe playing exactly the same we might score only one or two goals. It is very important to improve in all senses as a team."

Striker Alvaro Negredo's hat-trick on Wednesday took his tally during an impressive first season in England to 18.

His performances, alongside Edin Dzeko, have made light of the absence of Sergio Aguero over the past four weeks, although the Argentinian remains top scorer with 19.

Newcastle boss Pardew has likened the Spaniard to Alan Shearer and Pellegrini certainly hopes he maintains his form.

He said: "We will see in the future but I think Alvaro played very well also with Aguero, and has for the whole season, and we hope in the future he will continue the same way."

City have already scored 92 goals this season and have a good chance of reaching a century before the end of the month, as they chase glory on four fronts.

Records do not interest Pellegrini but he would be happy to take them.

He said: "No, but if we can break the records, no problem.

"I just want to have a good team, playing the way I want and with that team, to win titles."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness