Record signing Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City have to put a bad week behind them, starting with victory at Sunderland tonight.
City’s 100 per cent start to the season came to an abrupt halt with defeats to Juventus and West Ham in the space of five days last week.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men had not even conceded a goal in their five games prior to that and they will not want the blip to develop into anything more serious.
But City did create a number of chances in both losses, particularly as they threatened a comeback in the second half against the Hammers on Saturday, and De Bruyne hopes to maintain that momentum.
The £54million forward, who scored City’s goal in the 2-1 weekend loss, said: “We just have to play like we did in the second half. The only thing we have to do is score goals and then obviously we can win that game.
“It’s always difficult and it won’t be easy at Sunderland but we have to get a win over there.”
If some City players were tired at the weekend after their exertions against Juve, Pellegrini may see the tie as an opportunity to rest some bigger names ahead of Saturday’s game at Tottenham.
Joe Hart, Bacary Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho have started every game this season. Mangala is a fitness doubt anyway after being withdrawn at half-time against West Ham, as is David Silva with a calf problem.
Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Delph are already ruled out.
Young strikers Kelechi Iheanacho, scorer of a late winner at Crystal Palace earlier this month, and Patrick Roberts, a £12million summer signing from Fulham, could be given an opportunity.