Tottenham v Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini reveals players are still 'hurt' by last season

City lost their Premier League title and were beaten FA Cup finalists last term

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini senses his team could be finding extra motivation by seeking to atone for the disappointments of last season.

City surrendered the Barclays Premier League crown to Manchester United and were surprisingly beaten by Wigan in the FA Cup final last year.

The campaign also ended on a sour note as manager Roberto Mancini was sacked but, under Pellegrini, they have put all that behind them this term.

Pellegrini has focused on attack and style, and the results have been impressive with City heading into February in contention for four trophies and with 110 goals to their name.

Pellegrini said: "This season maybe they were hurt for what happened last season.

"They needed to demonstrate again what kind of players they are.

"It is very important in that sense to win things and the only way to win is with a high performance from all of them, but with style to do it. Maybe, of course, I think they want revenge."

Free-scoring City have run up several big scores this season, most notably putting seven goals past Norwich and hitting six against both Arsenal and Tottenham.

Premier League Wednesday - LIVE! Follow all of the news and updates HERE

They have now gone 19 games unbeaten since November - winning 17 of them - but if there has been a vulnerability it has been in defence.

Captain Vincent Kompany has said he believes the side's strength - attack - can also be their weakness as it places extra importance on winning back the ball quickly. He also said complacency could be their "biggest enemy".

Pellegrini made known his anger at the defence after last Saturday's FA Cup scare against Watford, when City recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-2, describing their performance as a "disaster".

On the whole, however, he has claimed to be satisfied with his rearguard and does not feel they are exposed too often.

The Chilean, speaking ahead of Wednesday's trip to Tottenham, said: "Maybe you don't believe me but we work more on defending than attacking because of course it is difficult to when you have to defend with less defenders.

"I think it is very important to know how to do it and that's the way we work here.

"For the moment, we will continue in the same way. Maybe it's my opinion and I am wrong but I think this team defends very well."

City beat Spurs 6-0 when they met at the Etihad Stadium in November, but the Londoners have changed manager and hit form since then.

Under Tim Sherwood, Spurs have won their last four Premier League games and Pellegrini claims the last meeting will have no relevance at White Hart Lane.

He said: "That is a game that happened three months ago. The great motivation for Tottenham is in the position they are in the table of course if they win they will be near the top."

Pellegrini also delivered a positive update on the fitness of midfielder Samir Nasri, who was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury during the victory at Newcastle on January 12.

The Frenchman initially said he expected to be out for up to eight weeks but Pellegrini has been hopeful of a quicker return.

Pellegrini said: "Next week Samir will start running and in two or three weeks he will be fit."

PA

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003