Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lescott insists City have no need to worry about United's stunning start


Joleon Lescott insists he City have no reason to worry about the stunning start to the season rivals Manchester United have made.

The City defender could rightly expect to be sitting pretty at the top of the table as a result of his side's own blistering beginning to the title race.

But Wayne Rooney's back-to-back hat-tricks to demolish Arsenal and Bolton have catapulted the Reds ahead of Roberto Mancini's men.

And whilst in the past that would have been enough to break most title rivals, Lescott remains relaxed.

The defender exudes the new found confidence of this City side by shrugging off United's run and suggesting his own team will still be going toe-to-toe with the Old Trafford outfit at the end of the season.

He said: ``I've got to admit after we scored five against Tottenham we were delighted. Then a few hours later, United scored eight against Arsenal and you just think 'wow'.

``But we won't worry too much about United just yet, though. We know that if we keep playing like we are, if we keep winning games, then we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.''

So where has this belief among the City ranks come from? For Lescott that's an easy question to answer. It is born out of the FA Cup semi-final defeat of Alex Ferguson's men last April.

He added: ``Winning the FA Cup was a big breakthrough for us last season – and beating United in the semi-final really lifted the club.

``Since I've been at City we had been so close to beating United so many times, but just couldn't get over the line.

``We went to Wembley thinking 'there's got to be one time we've got to beat them' – and to do it in a big FA Cup semi-final gave us a lot of belief.

``United have got a great record in big games, so to get one over on them when it mattered was a great feeling.

``We always believe we can beat any team in any game. But it's one thing believing it and another doing it.

``We lost so many games against them in the last minute because they just keep going until the end.

``What happened at Wembley proved we can do it when it matters.

``For the last few months of last season we played well, looked strong as a team, and really performed in the big matches.''

Nowhere near as strong as they look this term. Mancini appears to have ditched his naturally cautious defensive approach and City look reborn as one of Europe's most exciting attacking units.

The Blues have scored at least three goals in all four of their Premier League games - including a fantastic five strikes in the win at Spurs.

Lescott claims the attacking intent of his team-mates was always going to shine through following the addition of Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero in the summer.

He said: ``People talk about a more attacking style, but that's down to the players we've brought in over the summer rather than the manager asking us to change the way we play.

``Players like Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero have come in and had a really big impact. There is a real belief in the dressing room that if we play well then we're going to be very tough to beat.

``It's pretty much the same formation that we played last year. The difference is that there's a few more new faces and a lot more belief after what we achieved last season.

``Winning games, playing together week in, week out, it breeds confidence. We feel we can beat anyone.

``It's been a crazy season so far. We've just gone out to try to win matches rather than worry about what other clubs are doing.

``The one thing we had last season was a lot of resilience and now we've added some more flair to the squad I think we can really become a force.”

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