Manuel Pellegrini has singled out youngsters Declan Rice and Grady Diangana for praise in his pre-match press conference at lunchtime.
He told reporters at Rush Green: “Declan has a lot of potential to arrive at the level he wants. He is learning a lot of things very fast and improving his performance in every game. I hope he will be a top player in some years more. He is a very important tactical position for the team and I think he has a lot of potential.
“He is mature for his age as a player. Young players try to do what they think is best but Declan is always listening to what we are telling him. If you compare him now to his first game, he is doing very well and improving with every game.”
On Diangana he added: “It’s important for young players like Grady that he must have the personality to do what he does in training in every game and he is doing it every game a little bit more. At the beginning everyone appreciates what you do because they have not seen you before, but now he must grow another step and make an impact in every game he plays.”