City won’t be distracted

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Manuel Pellegrini insists his Manchester City side will not be distracted by their Champions League tie against Barcelona when they take on FA Cup holders Wigan. Picture: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester, United Kingdom – Manuel Pellegrini insists his Manchester City side will not be distracted by their Champions League tie against Barcelona when they take on FA Cup holders Wigan on Sunday.

Pellegrini's team trail Barcelona 2-0 ahead of Wednesday's last-16 second leg, but before turning their attention to the Catalan giants, City must focus on an FA Cup quarter-final revenge mission against the Latics at Eastlands.

City suffered a shocking 1-0 loss against Wigan, who were then in the Premier League, in last season's FA Cup final, a defeat which proved to be Roberto Mancini's final match in charge.

Pellegrini's men have struggled on occasions against second tier opposition in the cups this season.

They were taken to a replay by Blackburn in the FA Cup and trailed 2-0 to Watford in the early stages of their fourth round tie.

But Pellegrini, whose side won the first leg of a potential domestic treble with their League Cup final success over Sunderland last weekend, is not concerned about City taking Uwe Rosler's Championship side lightly.

“We are just thinking about the game against Wigan,” Pellegrini said.

“We know it is a tough game, it is not an easy game, they are playing very well, they win all their last matches so when we finish on Sunday the FA Cup we will just start thinking about Barcelona.

“I am looking to every competition with the same importance. On Sunday we have to play FA Cup, so we are thinking about FA Cup.

“When we finish that we will try to make a good match against Barcelona to try and have our revenge and continue in the Champions League.

“Maybe it is not easy for us to play against different teams in the way we always want to do it but it is very important to try to continue the way we want to do it.”

Wigan boss Rosler spent four years at City between 1994 and 1998 and is a firm favourite with the club's supporters.

Pellegrini acknowledges it will have an impact on the match and said: “I know he has an important link with this club also but now he is the manager of Wigan and he will want to win.”

City's only absentees are striker Stevan Jovetic and defender Matija Nastasic, who have respective hamstring and knee problems.

Wigan have forced their way into the play-off places since Rosler replaced Owen Coyle in December and head to Eastlands on the back of a run of five straight wins.

Rosler maintains that his first return to City as a manager is not the sole focus but has not attempted to play down his affection for his old club.

“This game is not all about Uwe Rosler. It is about Wigan Athletic playing Manchester City, and the focus should all be about the players,” he said.

“We have done so well in getting this far – it's only the third time the football club has ever reached the quarter-finals – and there should be recognition for the players.

“In saying that, I can't deny my past, and I don't want to deny my past. I have never hidden the fact I have a very emotional bond to Manchester City.

Ben Watson, who scored Wigan's winner at Wembley in May, misses the match with a broken leg. – Sapa-AFP


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