Nothing changes for Pellegrini


Published: Saturday 1st November 2014 by The News Editor

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini took much encouragement from last season’s derby dominance – and intends to send his team out seeking exactly the same this weekend.

City head into Sunday’s much-hyped clash with Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium short of form but with Pellegrini vowing to stick to his default, attack-based philosophy.

Questions are being asked of the champions’ durability after a run of three games without a win but Pellegrini brushed off similar doubts a year ago, with a 4-1 thrashing of United at home sending out clear signals.

Pellegrini, whose side also beat United 3-0 on their way to winning the Barclays Premier League, said: “I always say I am not the kind of manager that thinks when you win (it is) because you did (one) single thing.

“I think it is very important to play in one way and have absolute trust your players, and I think always the players make the difference.

“The (derby) game we played here was in a moment when I was new here, when maybe there were a lot of doubts about the results that we were taking, especially away.

“But I didn’t change in my mind the way we had to play against every team. I talked with my players and told them to play in the way we did every game, working in training sessions.

“I think that was an important moment and we really played very well.”

City are without in-form playmaker David Silva, who has been ruled out for three weeks with a knee injury.

But one on-song player still available is Sergio Aguero, who struck four against Tottenham in City’s last home win.

Pellegrini said: “I think Sergio will always be a very important player for us.

“He only played some minutes (20) against Newcastle because he played three games in a row of 90 minutes – but I think he is improving every game and he will always make the difference.”

Louis van Gaal insists he has no reason to be jealous of City’s stellar squad.

Van Gaal may have invested more than £150million of United’s money in the transfer window, but after six years of almost non-stop spending, City have a squad which is the envy of most clubs in world football.

Pellegrini has almost two internationals to pick for every position on the pitch.

In the build-up to the derby, many pundits have more City players in their combined Manchester XIs than United, but Van Gaal is not resentful of the players Pellegrini has at his disposal.

“I am not jealous of the squad of Manchester City,” Van Gaal said.

“I am proud of my players and that is the most important thing and when we play like a team then we have a big chance to win.”

Van Gaal’s men may have snatched a creditable draw against Chelsea last weekend, but the fact remains that his team are still a long way off realising his aim of winning the Barclays Premier League.

And they were dealt a blow on Friday when Radamel Falcao was ruled out through injury.

United, who have Wayne Rooney back from suspension, have won just three times so far and sit 10 points below the summit with almost a quarter of the season gone.

Van Gaal admits he needs to record a big win to boost morale among the squad and the supporters, who are still reeling from last year’s shock seventh-place finish.

“We are waiting on that boost because that can give you more than only the result,” Van Gaal said.

“We have played very well against West Brom and we played a draw against Chelsea, nobody expected that result but for me it was not enough and maybe the result against Manchester City shall give us that boost.”

Published: Saturday 1st November 2014 by The News Editor

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