Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ZABA SALUTES BLUES' WOUNDED WARRIORS ; Argentine Inspiration on How Blues'title Chasers Have Been Playing through Pain Barrier

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ZABA SALUTES BLUES' WOUNDED WARRIORS ; Argentine Inspiration on How Blues'title Chasers Have Been Playing through Pain Barrier

Article excerpt

PABLO Zabaleta has revealed how some players have been playing through the pain barrier to keep City's title dream alive.

David Silva is out for at least a fortnight after aggravating an ankle injury, skipper Vincent Kompany has battled on with a knee problem and Zabaleta himself has been patched up and sent out into the fray after a bruising few weeks.

Silva is out of Sunday's big game at Crystal Palace, which the Blues have to win to retain any chance of winning the league, while Yaya Toure is expected to rejoin his team-mates in training today after missing two matches with an adductor problem.

But Zabaleta has revealed how the busy treatment room at Carrington has helped to lift team spirit in the final run-in, with players like Silva, Toure, Kompany and himself giving up their days off to receive extra treatment to be ready for the final push.

"We know we are playing for something big," said Zabaleta. "We want to win this league, and you can always have problems with players getting injured. It has been a very difficult season for us with a lot of injury problems, but even if players have been struggling with an ankle problem, or a muscle problem, you can see players pushing and giving everything for the team.

"That is the spirit we need from everyone, as we know these last few games will decide the league. We all need to give our maximum, and that will be great for the team."

Zabaleta has always given 100 per cent for the City cause, something which has seen him establish himself as a huge fans' favourite. The sight of him soldiering on with head bandages, broken noses, and other bumps and bruises, is something that will go down in club folklore.

At Old Trafford, the sight of him limping out of the ground, a big grin on his face, after a poor challenge from Danny Welbeck and a disgraceful elbow assault by Marouane Fellaini, summed up his uncompromising spirit. …

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