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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 8, 2008

Eriksson urges City fans to respect Munich tribute

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has urged visiting supporters to respect the minute's silence ahead of Sunday's derby with United.

A full house at Old Trafford will have the chance to pay tribute to the eight Manchester United players who died in the Munich air disaster 50 years ago.

And Eriksson hopes there is no repeat of the interruptions which marred the silence before England's match with Switzerland in midweek, as City attempt to complete a rare season double over the reigning Premier League champions.

'I believe in being respectful and I know Manchester City Football club has been built on respect,' Eriksson told the club's website.

'It was disappointing that period of silence at the England game was disrupted and I hope everybody on Sunday will show maturity and respect for everyone who died at Munich. For anything else to happen would be a huge disappointment.'

Eriksson is considering employing new £3.87million signing Benjani Mwaruwari as a lone striker at Old Trafford, coincidentally the venue of the Zimbabwean's last match for Portsmouth prior to one of the strangest transfer sagas in history.

Dozen-goal Benjani is the Premier League's third-top scorer and one extremely capable of being the focal point of City's attacks, according to Eriksson.

'I think he will fit in very well, he's played by himself for Portsmouth many times, and I hope he can play on Sunday,' Eriksson said.

'He's a very good footballer, he's scored 12 goals in the league so far this season which is a good record.

'When we had the opportunity to take him, I did not hesitate at all, my reaction was 'yes, let's take him'.

'He's 29, he has a lot of experience, he's very strong and is a proven goalscorer. We need that, that's for sure.'

City have flourished operating with a five-man midfield this season, rising into contention for a European place, but have found goals from forward players in short supply.

Eriksson is hoping the former Auxerre player - whose tally this season represents only the second occasion he has reached double figures in eight league campaigns in Europe - is the missing link.

'I don't know him well yet, but he looks very lively and is always looking around him to see what's going on,' Eriksson added. 'I'm sure he will be a very good signing for us.'

The fee for Benjani could eventually rise to £7.75million, depending on the number of starts he makes for the club.