Man City excited about SA tour

Manchester City’s James Milner says SA is the perfect place for a preseason tour.

Manchester City’s Samir Nasri is congratulated by James Milner and Edin Dzeko after he scored a goal against Chelsea at Yankee Stadium in New York on 25 May 2013. City beat Chelsea 5-3. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Manchester City midfielder James Milner said on Tuesday South Africa is the perfect place for his side to begin their preseason training.

Man City will face SuperSport United on Sunday and then AmaZulu FC on Thursday next week in celebration of former president Nelson Mandela's Birthday.

These will also be their first games under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Milner said following his 2010 Fifa World Cup experience in South Africa, he knows what to expect when the team arrives on Saturday.

"The facilities were fantastic the last time we were there and it's a great place to play football. The atmosphere, the grounds and the stadiums were unreal as well. Obviously know how good a place it is to come to and it's the perfect place to come to on a preseason tour."

Milner said South Africa has great facilities and a great climate, which his side cannot wait to experience.

"I think it should be a really exciting time for us with the big changes at the club at the moment. It's an important time for us."

He said the side's tour of South Africa will help them bond with new players and their new manager.

The players started training with Pellegrini this week.

However Milner said the side needs to tour to work even closely with the new man at the helm.

"We've gotten to know him a bit over two days but obviously it will take a lot longer than that. This is important and a good time for us to go away on tour and spend more time together and get to know each other more."

He said the players will use the tour to impress Pellegrini and fight for a place in the starting XI.

"The more training sessions we have together the more we can learn how he wants us to play. Hopefully these two games are a platform to take us to good form in the new season."