Manchester City captain Kolo Touré has warned his team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor that their former supporters at Arsenal have been "waiting" for the chance to deliver more abuse at him during Saturday's game at the Emirates but admitted that the striker's intemperate response to them in last September's home fixture between the clubs was wrong.
Adebayor received a three-match ban for violent conduct after the Eastlands match, for a stamp on Robin van Persie, and his indignation was compounded by Van Persie's strongly worded attack on the City player afterwards, despite his immediate post-match apology. Adebayor also received a suspended two-game ban and a £25,000 fine for running the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal during City's 4-2 win in front of Arsenal's fans.
"He needs to keep calm and focus on the game because he is a professional player," Touré said yesterday, as City prepared for Saturday's game still chasing a Champions League place. "The last game was really difficult for him but he needs to show more intelligence and just be calm and don't do anything because we all know that what he did was not the best reaction and as his friend I've told him that. I think he will be really calm now.
"Maybe it will be really tough for him because of everything that happened at our game," he added. "Their fans are waiting for this game but Ade is intelligent and will just be focusing on the game and trying to win. It is really difficult, especially when you spend three years at a club and you leave in a bad way, it is really difficult. But we are all professional."
If City lose at Arsenal and Tottenham in fourth place beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, the gap between the two will open up to five points. "The most important thing is we don't focus on the fans, just on the game," Touré said. "We know it will be a really high pressure game for us but if we win, we can be in a really good position."