• Premier League

Pellegrini hits back at sack claims

ESPN staff
March 3, 2015
Are Manuel Pellegrini's tactics holding back Manchester City's superstars?

Manuel Pellegrini has insisted he does not need to win a trophy this season to keep his job as Manchester City manager.

Pellegrini's position has come under scrutiny after City lost crucial games to Barcelona and Liverpool in the Champions League and Premier League respectively.

Roberto Mancini, his predecessor, was sacked after ending the 2012-13 campaign without any silverware, despite guiding City to second in the league.

'Kompany must get accustomed to criticism'

Vincent Kompany has looked a shadow of his former self in recent weeks © Getty Images
  • Manuel Pellegrini has told Vincent Kompany he will have to get used to criticism as it is part of life at an elite club.
  • Kompany has been blamed by pundits for his side's defeats to Barcelona and Liverpool after he was culpable for goals that Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson scored.
  • But while manager Pellegrini refuses to criticise his players in public, he feels they have to be capable of dealing with life in the spotlight if they are to prosper.
  • He said: "When you play in a big team, or when you manage a big team, you must be prepared to receive all different criticism when you don't win or when you don't put in a normal performance.
  • "They are important players and they must be used to this happening. As a manager, you cannot pretend to be at a big team and not be criticised when you don't win."

But while Ferran Soriano, City's chief executive, set a target of winning five trophies between 2013 and 2018, Pellegrini is adamant that does not mean his job is conditional on winning a title this year.

"No. I never have any pressure to win the amount of titles and to win a title every year if I want to continue here," he said.

"I don't feel any pressure, especially from the media. When I signed the contract, I was never told I must win a title every year or that I must win five trophies in five years. It was [just] a sentence of Ferran. That is perfectly normal. But maybe you can win two in one year and one in another and two in another.

"You never know in football. There are different ways to analyse the season. The title is important but it is not the only important thing."

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone have been linked with the City job, while Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain enjoyed working alongside Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

But Pellegrini said he does not waste his time thinking about the future and said that it is an approach that has served him well in his long management career.

"I only think about the present," he added. "You never know what will happen in the future. You don't know if we are going to win against Barcelona or be out of the Champions League.

"Maybe last year nobody would say we are going to win the Premier League. To think about the future is the worst thing because you are just speculating about a lot of things. It is important to life in the present. I have 25 years' experience of management at important clubs and I never feel the pressure."

City host Leicester on Wednesday and have Pellegrini can pick from a fully-fit squad after none of his players picked up injuries in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.

Manuel Pellegrini has faced criticism for his tactics against Barcelona and Liverpool in the past week © Getty Images
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