Sunday 23 October 2016

Pellegrini: 'Aguero will find top form'

City striker Sergio Aguero Photo:Reuters
City striker Sergio Aguero Photo:Reuters

Manuel Pellegrini is convinced star striker Sergio Aguero will soon be fully firing for Manchester City.

Aguero has produced two largely ineffectual performances for City since returning from a heel injury.

But this is not surprising, with history suggesting it often takes the Argentinian a number of games to get back up to full speed following any lay-off.

Pellegrini is aware of this, and knows the rewards are worth waiting for from a player who scored five against Newcastle in a stunning performance in October and plundered 31 goals from 42 appearances last season. The City manager said: "As we know with Sergio, always when he comes back from an injury he needs three or four games to return to his normal performance.

"That's why I never give him 90 minutes in a game. I think it's better to play him for less minutes but with more intensity.

"But I am sure in the second part of the season we are going to see the real Sergio without injuries."

Asked when Aguero might be ready to play a full game, Pellegrini said: "I hope on Saturday and he scores two or three goals."

City travel to Watford this evening looking for their first away win in seven.

City's other senior striker, Wilfried Bony, has struggled to impose himself in Aguero's absences - which also include a spell out in autumn with a hamstring injury - and has been criticised by fans.

But the Ivorian, who has also been hampered by injuries and a bout of malaria since his £28million move from Swansea last January, is determined to turn the situation around.

Bony said: "Obviously I've had problems with injuries and I was ill but this is football. For five years I haven't been in this position but sometimes you can't control what's happening. I just try to do my best every game. My hopes for 2016 are to be fit for the whole season and to win a trophy for City." Bony has scored in four of his last seven appearances, and has eight for the campaign, but has also spurned a host of other chances.

The 27-year-old said: "Scoring goals is most important for getting the confidence back. I know what I can do. Your first enemy is yourself so I just think about doing better and trying very hard to do my best in every game."

Captain Vincent Kompany, who could be out for another month with calf trouble. Left-back Gael Clichy and midfielders Fernando and Fabian Delph are back in contention.

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