Pellegrini: Dzeko & Negredo had bad days

The Man City boss believes his strikers will return to form soon and is unconcerned about the mid-season lull that they are currently enduring
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini backed Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo despite admitting they had a "bad day" in their 1-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday.

Yaya Toure struck the only goal of the game while forwards Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko incurred the wrath of the home supporters with lacklustre displays in front of goal.

Dzeko was arguably the least impressive of the pair as he failed to convert a Jesus Navas cross from two yards in the second period, but Pellegrini professed no surprise in seeing his strikers go through lean spells.

"I think it is normal during the season for a striker to lose his scoring touch," he told reporters after the game.

"I trust in all of them and I am sure they will recover their normal performance.

"I think that every player can have a bad day, and Edin did today. Maybe he was nervous after he missed that chance but I trust in him. Alvaro Negredo is also recovering from an injury, so sometimes these things happen."

Pellegrini's attacking options could be handed a boost ahead of Sunday's Capital One Cup final as he revealed Sergio Aguero will return to full training on Tuesday, though Steven Jovetic could miss out after pulling up just 15 minutes after appearing as a substitute.

"Sergio will start working with the whole squad on Tuesday" he added. "We will see during the week if he is fit and ready for the match on Sunday."

"Jovetic felt cramp in his hamstring and we will now see what the doctor says."

Despite not being at their best, Pellegrini was pleased that his side were able to get over the line against the Potters in what is the Blues' last league match for three weeks.

"I think that we didn't create many chances as Stoke defended very well. They had their whole team behind the ball and in the box, but we had the patience to finally score.

"Also we had the concentration, especially from set-pieces and at the second ball, to keep our clean sheet.

"The satisfaction is the same [as winning by many goals] because we have another three points. It is important to know how to win in both ways."