Manuel Pellegrini has revealed David Silva is playing through pain to inspire Manchester City’s Premier League title challenge.
The Spanish midfielder again shone in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Southampton which kept up the pressure on rivals Liverpool and Chelsea at the top.
And with City heading to Anfield this Sunday to take on the Reds, Pellegrini is hoping Silva will continue his imperious form.
“It is very important at the end of the season to have high individual performances and he is one of our players who is in a very good moment,” said the City boss.
“He is playing very, very well. It is with double merit because he is playing with his ankle he hurt during the week. It’s just a kick. I hope he will be fit for the rest of the season.
“Because he played the last two games without a problem, now we have a whole week before we play against Liverpool, so I don’t think he will have any problems.”
With Liverpool having scored 90 league goals compared to City’s 84, Pellegrini is prepared for a battle of the entertainers, but says his men want to show their strengths rather than worry about Luis Suarez and Co.
“I don’t know if it’s the attitude,” he added. “But we tried from the beginning of the season to play attractive football and be an offensive and creative team.
“I think the best way to win games is to score goals. I think, maybe I am wrong, but I always think in the same way as a manager that if you play to draw you will lose. So we are going to play to win. We are not going to play against Liverpool thinking we must draw. We don’t know how to play in that way.
“Maybe I also am wrong, but I prefer important teams, big teams, than those who just want to win 1-0 and give all the possession of the ball to the other team, and score one goal and always defend. That’s why I think Liverpool have a lot of merits in the year they are doing so far, because they are an attractive team and they always score.”
City last failed to score in the league two months ago in a goalless draw at Norwich and powered past a Southampton side hurt by a controversial Samir Nasri goal – when Silva was offside in the buildup – and the serious knee injury to 17-goal top scorer Jay Rodriguez that looks set to rule him out of the World Cup.
Captain Adam Lallana said: “Forget the decision for the offside, forget the result, forget everything, we are just so disappointed for Jay.
“We are all absolutely devastated for him. We’ve all had a chat and let him know how sorry we are for him. There’s nothing you can say in that situation, until he gets it scanned and gets a proper diagnosis. He’s an unbelievable lad and he’s proven this season what a player he is and he got his rewards internationally.”