Man City V Tottenham at Etihad Stadium - Match Preview

Platt expects players to bounce back

Assistant boss David Platt expects Manchester City to bounce back quickly from their latest European frustrations.

City's Champions League challenge looks doomed to failure after a controversial and frustrating 2-2 draw with Ajax in midweek.

Roberto Mancini's men must now win their remaining two group games and hope other results go in their favour to avoid a premature exit for a second successive season.

They will switch their attention back to their Barclays Premier League title defence as Tottenham visit the Etihad Stadium this weekend and Platt has no concerns about the players' state of mind.

Platt said: "Players are resilient animals and people don't give them credit for that.

"They think that players get affected and things like that.

"Disappointment or any pleasure lasts a very short time because immediately there's another game coming your way and the boys have got to put their boots back on again.

"This is the first day we've had back when we're all together and my experience would tell me that that will happen after the next game too."

City's form has not reached the heights of last season but they remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and are well placed in a leading pack with Manchester United and Chelsea.

Their defensive frailties were exposed again by Ajax on Tuesday but they have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games.

To build on that record they will need to quell the threat of Tottenham's in-form frontman Jermain Defoe, who scored a hat-trick in a Europa League win over Maribor on Thursday.

The 30-year-old is a player former England Under-21 coach Platt is well aware of.

Platt said: "He is potent. Defoe will always score goals.

"He could go six or seven games without scoring but you know if he does there is a glut coming because his stats tell you he scores goals.

"He has done all his career, ever since he was a young kid.

"I have had him in an under-21 team and training. He will get efforts on goal and he can finish.

"He is 5ft 3in - he'll have pop at me for that - but a cross comes in and he gets a header in the six-yard box.

"When a ball comes into the box he knows how to finish, he knows what to do.

"He has very early pictures in his mind about how he is going to score, no matter what angle it is.

"His first goal on Thursday was just an exceptional finish. He had the picture long before he got the ball."

City's much-missed playmaker David Silva is back in training after a month out with a hamstring injury and has a chance of featuring. Defender Joleon Lescott is also back in contention after a back problem.

Last season Spurs and City played out one of the most entertaining games of the season, which saw the hosts clinch all three points when Mario Balotelli scored an injury-time penalty just moments after Jermain Defoe came within inches of putting the away side 3-2 up.

Had Tottenham won they would have been two points off the Barclays Premier League summit with 16 games left.

The way the Tottenham fans booed Andre Villas-Boas and his team during their 1-0 defeat to Wigan last week suggests some feel the Portuguese is perhaps not up to the challenge of leading the club to such heights this season.

But full-back Kyle Walker has no doubts about the 35-year-old's ability to take Tottenham back in to Europe's elite once more after last season's disappointing relegation to the Europa League.

"With the players we have and the players we brought in, I am more than confident (we can finish in the top four)," the England right-back said.

"We just need to keep listening to the gaffer and his tactics.

"If we do that then I most definitely think that we will get the results we need.

"It was disappointing how it went last year but that's just the way it goes."

Villas-Boas hopes to have Sandro available after he made encouraging progress in his return from a calf injury.

The Spurs boss must also decide whether to retain former City striker Emmanuel Adebayor after he combined well with Defoe in his first start of the season on Thursday.

Source: PA

Source: PA