Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pellegrini Calls on His Side to Deliver under Pressure

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pellegrini Calls on His Side to Deliver under Pressure

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini called on his team to deliver in Barcelona as he again asserted confidence in his position.

Pellegrini has become noticeably more bullish in recent weeks as pressure and speculation over his future have increased.

The Chilean is under considerable scrutiny with his side faltering in their Premier League title defence and seemingly needing to overturn a deficit in Barcelona to salvage their season.

City go to the Nou Camp tonight for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie trailing 2-1 after defeat to the Catalan giants at the Etihad Stadium three weeks ago.

Pellegrini was inevitably asked about his future as he met media on the eve of the match, but he brushed off the questions and tried to rouse his players.

The 61-year-old said: "First of all I respect all opinions but I don't think my seat is in danger. But even if it was I wouldn't do anything differently, I would do the same thing and focus and concentrate on the game.

"I want to say there's no such strange atmosphere at Manchester City. We're second in the Premier League, still playing strong and are going to fight to prove it tomorrow.

"It is a good opportunity for our team and the only way to prove it is to beat one of the biggest teams in Europe and we have that chance tomorrow."

Pellegrini was joined at the prematch Press conference by key mid-fielder and former Barcelona player Yaya Toure, who missed the first leg through suspension.

Toure was also asked about Pellegrini's future but chose to focus on the collective responsibility of everyone involved in the team.

"I think football is like that," said Toure, when asked about the rumours concerning Pellegrini.

"Last year was brilliant, everyone was saying Manchester City are a top team in Europe, but all of a sudden we have some problems and we're the worst team in the world. We can deal with that.

"We all know what we have to do, the owners have spent a lot of money to make this one of the top clubs in Europe. We have had some difficulties but we are working hard.

"It's not the first time we have been in this situation. …

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