• Premier League

Pellegrini: Disrespectful not to play best team

ESPN staff
April 26, 2014
Manuel Pellegrini revealed he always wants to win every game © PA Photos

Manuel Pellegrini responded to Jose Mourinho's statement that Chelsea will field a weakened team against Liverpool on Sunday by insisting that he believes managers should always field their strongest side and it is disrespectful not to pick their premier players.

Mourinho takes Chelsea to Anfield believing that Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid is a greater priority for his injury and suspension-hit squad.

But while a Liverpool win on Sunday would end Chelsea's title chances, a victory for Mourinho's men would put Manchester City's destiny back in their own hands and give Pellegrini a chance to win the league.

The City manager, who believes he has done his best to secure silverware on four fronts this season, said: "It's a lack of respect to just prefer one competition and avoid others. I expect that every team should want to win every game with their best players. I always try to win, always.

"But I repeat, every manager must do what he feels is right. The only thing is to win our games, whether we have more chance or less chance."

City have five matches remaining, starting with Sunday's trip to Crystal Palace, and if they take the 15 points available, they will end the season on 86. Liverpool have 80 with three games remaining, and City have a slim lead on goal difference.

"The only thing is to win our games, whether we have more chance or less chance," the Chilean added.

Palace have won their last five games as the relegation favourites have stayed up, despite losing nine of their first 10 matches, leading to suggestions Tony Pulis should scoop the managerial awards.

"I think all the managers deserve to be the manager of the year," said Pellegrini. "Someone must decide but of course he can be one of them."

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