Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his free-scoring players are out to avenge the disappointments of last season.
City, who are competing for honours on four fronts, have scored 110 goals in all competitions under Pellegrini, 17 more than they managed in the whole of their final year under Roberto Mancini.
And many of their major talents have scaled heights they rarely reached last year, when they failed to defend their league title and lost the FA Cup final to underdogs Wigan, leading Pellegrini to conclude they are motivated by a desire to make amends.
He said: “Maybe they were hurt by what happened last season. They needed to demonstrate again what kind of players they are. Of course I think they want revenge.”
City face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Wednesday but, rather than looking for revenge for November’s 6-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, Pellegrini believes Spurs’ aim will be to close the gap to his title-chasing team.
He added: “The great motivation for Tottenham is in the position they are in in the table. Of course if they win they will be near the top.”
Pellegrini won league titles in South America but managed for nine years in Spain with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga without claiming one.
Now he believes he has a chance to end his long wait, adding: “It is an important possibility because I have a team that can win a title. The other 10 years I was in Europe, maybe the only team I could was with Real Madrid and it was a pity we played against a great Barcelona.”