Platt backs City squad to cope

Assistant boss prepares players for trips to Stoke and Madrid

Sergio Aguero: Hoping to be back for Saturday's game at Stoke

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David Platt believes strength in depth will be key for Manchester City as they prepare for a difficult series of games.

The Premier League champions face a potentially tricky trip to the Britannia Stadium before a daunting UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday.

City boss Roberto Mancini will want his star striker Sergio Aguero available but the Argentina international hasn't featured since damaging his knee against Southampton on the opening weekend.

Aguero hopes to prove his fitness ahead of the Madrid game but City do at least have a strong squad bolstered by Maicon, Matija Nastasic, Javi Garcia and Scott Sinclair in deadline week.

And assistant manager Platt believes that could be crucial as the club prepares for a congested fixture list in the coming months.

"They're different challenges," said Platt of the away games against Stoke and Real Madrid.

Benefit

"I think we will see the benefit of having the size and quality of squad we've got because we will be playing every three days right up until Christmas.

"That's when, strategically, you've got to pick the right teams both physically and tactically.

"The balance of the squad is good in terms of the alternatives that we've got. I think we've got more strength in depth than we did have.

"We've got a lot of players to choose from. I think the manager is delighted with the way things have gone."

He added: "You look at it now whichever 11 you pick is strong. We've got different characteristics that have come in.

"Javi Garcia is a very tactical midfield player who can sit there if we want to play with a three, bolster things there, release Yaya Toure further up the pitch.

"The characteristics of Scott Sinclair will give us another alternative as well, somebody who hugs the touchline, who looks to get in behind people, a little bit of pace.

"The first few games we've been a little disappointed. That's the by-product of doing so well last season and being league champions, that you're disappointed when you concede goals and you're not going on and winning as convincingly perhaps as we would like to."