• Premier League

Pellegrini hopes to end trophy drought

ESPN staff
December 21, 2013
Pellegrini: I'd prefer a winter break

Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City have given him his best chance of ending his long wait to win major silverware in Europe.

Pellegrini, 60, managed in Spain for nine years with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, but his only trophy was the Intertoto Cup.

He won honours in Chile, Ecuador and Argentina with Universidad Catolica, LDU Quito, San Lorenzo and River Plate before crossing the Atlantic.

But having taken City into the last four of the Capital One Cup, the last 16 of the Champions League and within three points of Premier League leaders Arsenal, he feels he has his finest opportunity to add to his medal collection.

He said: "I think so because I won several titles in South America but here in Europe it is very difficult to win titles with Villarreal and with Malaga."

Pellegrini took Villarreal to second place in La Liga and the semi-finals of the Champions League, and then finished fourth in Spain with Malaga while reaching the last eight of the senior European competition, and he takes solace in the fact that no other manager has achieved more with either club.

He explained: "To be the manager who had most successful career with these teams is very important for me, the same importance as a title. Real Madrid was special [and had] a very good squad but there are a lot of things you must have to win, not only a good squad."

City face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday without their injured top scorer Sergio Aguero, who is out for between four and eight weeks with a calf problem.

His absence could give an opportunity to Edin Dzeko, who has struggled to displace the strike partnership of Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, but who scored twice in the 3-1 Capital One Cup win at Leicester in midweek.

Pellegrini said: "Edin Dzeko is working very well every day. He couldn't play more because Sergio and Alvaro were scoring goals and the team was playing well but you saw last Tuesday that he played and he scores two goals."

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