England

Platt has confidence in strikeforce

RivalsDM
Share This Story

   
 

Assistant boss David Platt is convinced Manchester City have the firepower to reach the Carling Cup final despite the potential loss of another key player.

City will be without striker Mario Balotelli for the second leg of their semi-final against Liverpool at Anfield if they accept a four-match ban for violent conduct.

Balotelli was charged with that offence by the Football Association following a clash with Scott Parker in the Barclays Premier League leaders' win over Tottenham on Sunday.

City are already missing influential captain Vincent Kompany through suspension as well as inspirational midfielder Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo due to international duty.

Having also been without the services of Carlos Tevez for most of the campaign, and with a couple of minor injuries recently, City's star-studded squad has surprisingly looked light on numbers of late.

But Platt said: "There are players who are available to play in the next games that we feel confident can continue what we have done so far this season.

"We could be without a player because of injury - we are without players because of suspension. That is what we have a squad for.''

City are now at least clear of injuries but they head to Merseyside looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.

Liverpool defended resiliently after taking an early lead through Steven Gerrard's penalty at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago and Platt expects them to be just as tough despite their disappointing loss at Bolton on Saturday.

Platt said: "Kenny is talking about the manner of that result, so we expect a reaction from that.

"Conversely, they have their noses in front and the onus is on us to do something about it.

"It is a difficult task, Liverpool are a very good team. They have not conceded many goals.

"They copped for three against us [in the league] and against Bolton at the weekend.

"Before that, they hadn't conceded many goals. We understand the difficulty of going to Anfield and getting any kind of result.

"The size of the game - there is no second bite of the cherry, we have to win. We get nothing for a draw.

"But we feel confident we can turn the tie around. We are not going there as lambs to the slaughter, or thinking we are already out, but it is going to be tough.''

The Balotelli controversy aside, City are buoyed by their last-gasp 3-2 win over Spurs at the weekend.

The victory, secured with an injury-time Balotelli penalty, maintained a three-point lead at the top of the table and opened up an eight-point gap to third-placed Spurs.

Midfielder James Milner wants to carry that momentum to Anfield and insists the title challenge will not detract from the cup's importance.

The England international said: "We will concentrate on that now, it is the next game. We have confidence that we can win anywhere.

"People talk about it being a lesser trophy but it is big. Any trophy is important.

"We will be going there to get the result needed to take us to Wembley.'

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

More than Sports on MSN