LONDON (dpa) – Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits being worried about his team’s recent play ahead of this weekend’s Manchester derby.
City were knocked out of the League Cup Wednesday by a 2-0 home loss to Newcastle. That capped a week where the Blues blew a two-goal half-time lead to draw 2-2 with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and were beaten 2-1 by West Ham in the Premier League.
Next up is a home match Sunday with rival Manchester United, who are trying to get back on track after an early-season stumble.
“My feeling is that we are not playing well,” Pellegrini said after the Newcastle game. “We are in a difficult moment with a lack of trust. We are conceding too many goals and we are not scoring the chances we have to score.
“We must be worried about that but we must find a solution and we must address it.” City are third in the table, six points behind leaders Chelsea and two back of surprising Southampton in second. They also have injury concerns after midfielders David Silva and Yaya Toure limped off against Newcastle.
Pellegrini said Silva injured his knee and the club would know more on Thursday, while Toure has a groin problem and was hopeful of being fit for the derby.
United come into the match off a dramatic 1-1 draw with Chelsea, thanks to Robin van Persie’s stoppage-time goal, that kept them 10 points behind the leaders.
After getting with two points from their first three games under new manager Louis van Gaal, United have three wins and two draws over the past six. The Red Devils have struggled recently against City though, losing five of the past six league meetings.
“Every game in the Premier League is hard but we’ve got to look forward to it this week,” defender Luke Shaw told mutv.com. “It’s a massive occasion for everyone involved in it.
“We know what we need to do, so we just need to focus on that during this week and come out firing on Sunday.”
Chelsea put the league’s only unbeaten record on the line when they host Queens Park Rangers in a southwest London derby. It will be the Blues’ third match in six days, following the draw at Man United last weekend and Tuesday’s league cup win over Shrewsbury.
Jose Mourinho’s squad could get a boost with the return of striker Diego Costa, the league’s joint top scorer with nine goals in seven matches, and midfielder Ramires from injury.