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By Doug Higginbottom, Mon 30 January 2012 15:21
Lovely sunny day and everyone on show who needs to be. Mario still away, Rekik missing with the EDS game tonight (now cancelled) but an addition of a triallist, Efe Ambrose, a Nigerian international who plays in Israel. Good to see Nigel out as well as he seemed to have a little problem yesterday but all good today.All routine with the warm ups and then some pass and move work to get them going before they went into the two games with small nets (2 touch and a one touch finish) and the big nets (again 2 touch with only headed goals allowed). It always makes me laugh when it's headed goals only how Micah becomes a goal hanger. He got an early assist heading on for Savic to convert, Vinnie equalised at the other end before Micah scored himself standing on the line and diverting one home.Then in the small nets it's Nigel who tries hardest to score and stays up front. Try as he did though he didnt manage a goal today. That despite hitting one into the side netting and claiming it went in anyway. The 2 goals in this were both from fairly long range from Barry and Milner. The spirit in the camp seemed really good again and the levels of the play were up again with one more day to go to the match. Not sure how Zaba felt though after photographer Sharon knocked a ball back into play when he wasnt looking and he took it on the bonce (always wanted to type the word bonce). Sharon disappeared a little sheepishly inside.Onto the game which started very strongly with 3 players involved in a real clattering. Looked a little worrying when Razak stayed down (probably taken out buy his own teammate Nigel) but after the doc saw him and helped him up, Mancini had also gone on to check things and he just nudged him and and said get on with it (something like that anyway and he did seem fine). The game carried on and was strongly contested. I think there was only one goal and a beauty it was too. Kolarov made a surge and played a gem of a one two with Aguero. He was running at pace and took the ball in his stride to knock a square ball across for a tap in. Hargreaves got the tap in.Owen had taken a big tumble a little earlier but thankfully seem to survive it well. Then it was the case of 2 disallowed goals. An excellent finish from Aguero but he was given offside. He wasnt though as we were directly in line and he was level. Then Savic challenged for a ball about 25 yards out and latched onto the loose ball to thrash a great half volley which the keeper got to but it was too powerful. A foul was given for the challenge. Very soft.Not the longest of sessions today but the competitiveness suggested to me the players are raring to go tomorrow. Milner and Clichy did a little extra as usual and the boss spent a little time with the strikers before they all went inside.