Manuel Pellegrini aims to keep City loan star Lampard
Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on keeping Frank Lampard at Manchester City beyond his current loan spell with the Premier League champions.
London: Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on keeping Frank Lampard at Manchester City beyond his current loan spell with the Premier League champions.
Pellegrini`s side overcame bottom club Leicester thanks to Lampard`s 175th Premier League goal five minutes before half-time in Saturday`s 1-0 win at Leicester.
The former Chelsea midfielder has now scored six goals since joining City on loan from New York City in pre-season and Pellegrini would dearly love to keep the influential 36-year-old at Eastlands for a larger portion of the season.
But, with his loan due to expire in January, there has been no decision on Lampard`s future yet.
"Frank is very important, one of the reasons he played today was it was important to refresh the team," Pellegrini said.
"Frank was very useful for us in that moment. Frank is a top player, he must continue scoring goals, he is great inside the box.
"We know exactly what we must do. Frank wants to stay, we want to keep him. We must resolve the problem with New York City and with the MLS."
Whether he stays or not, Lampard`s presence will be especially important for City over the next two weeks as Pellegrini battles with a growing injury list heading into the hectic Christmas programme, with his team three points behind leaders Chelsea.
Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko sustained a calf problem in the warm-up and was unable to start against Leicester, while Belgium defender Kompany was hit by a recurrence of his nagging hamstring strain in the second half at the King Power Stadium.
The double setback adds to City`s injury problems and leaves Pellegrini short in the attacking department, with strikers Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic already sidelined.
"It`s difficult to know what happened with both Vincent and Edin," said Pellegrini.
"Vincent has the same problem as his hamstring a few weeks ago.
"That was one of the reasons he did not play on Wednesday against Roma. Edin has a muscle injury in his calf so maybe both will be more than a couple of weeks.
"It is impossible that Vincent and Edin will be ready before the New Year.
"It`s difficult because we have to play a lot of games. But I can never complain about the players who cannot play."
Leicester are now 11 games without a win but manager Nigel Pearson was pleased with his side`s performance, if not the result.
"It was a disappointing result today we did not deserve it," he said.
"We`re looking for results, I`m pleased with the way the players went about the game. Sometimes you can`t break teams down.
"It was a soft goal in some ways but Lampard has built a career out of scoring goals from midfield.
"Ultimately we`ve not converted key chances for ourselves and have had an inability to keep a clean sheet."
Ben Hamer was in goal for Leicester after Kasper Schmeichel had surgery on Friday on a broken metatarsal.
"The operation went well," said Pearson. "It is always dangerous to set timescales where I have no idea what the actual timescales are.
"Four to six weeks is an optimistic one, but if it is a bit longer it will be what it is."