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David Silva lays down defensive gauntlet

Silva makes a challenge on Arsenal's Santi Cazorla. Photo: The Guardian
Silva makes a challenge on Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla. Photo: The Guardian

Playmaker David Silva has said his Manchester City colleagues must work extra to reduce the number of goals conceded now that captain Vincent Kompany is unlikely to return to action until around the end of the season.

Kompany endured the 13th separate issue with his calf since he joined City in August 2008 during the 4-1 win over Sunderland after Christmas, and manager Manuel Pellegrini is unsure when his top defender will return, saying it may not be until “the final part of the season”.

Silva is adamant City must defend better: “He is a key player for us and our captain. With or without him we have to work hard to concede less. It’s a duty we have to fulfil before too long. Hopefully we can do that in this new year. It’s not just the defence that defends but the whole team.

“It’s the same when we’re attacking – you need to have everyone helping out going forwards, so it’s down to us all to perform our defensive duties and it’s something we’ll be trying to do to help the cause.

“Any team will miss their captain when they’re out and we’re no exception. When you look all over the field there are lots of figures willing to step up to the plate when needed.

“We have lots of experience all over the team and it’s up to people like that to do that. Thinking positively, we’re battling on every front and involved in every trophy so it’s about trying to be involved as long as we can to the end of the season in each of those competitions.”

Pellegrini said: “It’s difficult, because Vincent is doing a lot of different things to try to understand and find the reasons why he has so many injuries. It’s difficult for me to tell you an update about that. Maybe not so soon but for the last part of the season he could be fit.”

However, the manager insisted Kompany’s injury will not force City to look into tapping the January transfer market.

“We have Martín Demichelis, we have Nicolás Otamendi, we have Bacary Sagna, who can play in a central defensive position, we have Cameron [Humphreys], who is a young player who featured in pre-season with the squad. Eliaquim Mangala will return soon. Vincent maybe not so soon, but for the last part of the season, he could be fit. At this moment we are not thinking about making a change.”

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