Date: 29th January 2016 at 7:39pm
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Manager Manuel Pellegrini has previewed the upcoming FA Cup fourth round tie against Aston Villa and also confirmed that we have no plans to dip into the January transfer market ahead of deadline day to pick up cover for Kevin De Bruyne following his injury after the League Cup Semi win over Everton.

Speaking to the Official Site with news of De Bruyne’s ten week absence coming through with medial ligament damage, Pellegrini explained that we also continued to be without Wilfried Bony, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri this weekend.

‘We knew after the game it was a serious injury – not a season-ending injury as it was not a cruciate, but an important injury and will be out for 8-10 weeks. We must continue playing with the whole squad if we want to be a competitive team. It`s an important player less but we must continue with optimism and give responsibility to the squad. Elsewhere, the same injuries as last week – Vincent, Mangala, Kolarov – I hope they will return next week to at least work with the squad. Eight to ten weeks more for Nasri and Kevin and I hope in a couple of weeks Bony will be fit again. It`s not our intention to bring in anyone in January. In some moments we couldn`t play with Sergio or David and now we play without Kevin.’

With the four Cup haul still on the cards, Pellegrini repeated he wasn’t going to talk about whether it was a realistic aim for the club this season, but we just had to keep taking it one game at a time and then see where we end up.

‘I don`t know if it`s realistic or not but we`re not thinking about that – just about Villa, then the next game. It`s important to continue being involved in all competitions and to show you`re a strong team in all of them. It was important for us to focus game by game, it`s difficult to play so many games. We have just one game postponed from the Capital One – if we continue in the FA Cup to the final we`d have at least two more games suspended so it`s difficult, if you continue in the Champions League, to find a day when you can play all those games. That doesn`t matter, we`ll have our mind on the FA Cup and try to advance. It`s the same team we play that we played in November – we started in Remi Garde`s first game. We drew against them in their stadium so I think tomorrow will be a similar game and very difficult also.’

With Fabian Delph returning to Villa Park, the gaffer also fielded a question about how he would be welcomed back – he wasn’t expecting any difference.

‘I don`t think that fans of Aston Villa will have changed their minds about Fabian Delph – he can expect the same reception. He`s a professional player, every player has the option to take new options. He`s improved his career by playing in the Champions League. He`s important – he had a lot of injuries at the beginning but every player when he can play normally, their performance will improve to the level we know they can.’

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