skip to content

Pellegrini focused on City quality ahead of Champions League showdown

18 Feb 2014 08:01:56

Pellegrini focused on City quality ahead of Champions League showdown

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is convinced he has the firepower to combat Barcelona.

Pellegrini accepts his side face a tough task against the revered Catalans in their Champions League last-16 tie, but he is far from intimidated.

The Chilean has spoken confidently about his attacking gameplan all season and he was again in bullish mood on the eve of the first leg against Barca at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: "Of course it is a different game because it is a different team that will be here in England.

"But I think we must continue concentrating on our qualities as a team. That is the way to try to have a victory at home in the first leg.

"Then we will see the way we must do it.

"I know the way they play, they have top players. But we have top players and that is very important.

"When we have the ball they must try to recover it and that will not be easy."

Pellegrini's assurance at his pre-match press conference also extended to proclaiming City as Manchester's pre-eminent force, ahead of United.

Speaking in terms of this season, as he made clear, it was an obvious statement given United's recent difficulties, but it was a bold declaration nevertheless.

He said: "If we only consider this season, there is just one club in Manchester and it's ours, but you cannot forget what United has done in the previous years.

"We are aiming to keep growing by winning many trophies - not just national but international trophies.

"We are fighting for four titles this year. We have to be patient because you cannot change the team from one day to another.

"We have to keep the philosophy of the style and for that you need time."

City go into the game with confidence restored after their victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.

That win avenged a damaging loss to the same opponents in the Barclays Premier League the previous week and removed some of the frustration of a goalless draw at Norwich.

City are further lifted by the likely return of midfielder Fernandinho after a fortnight out with a muscle injury.

The Brazilian played a full part in final training before the match.

Pellegrini said: "He has a chance. He is in the squad list.

"We will see who can start but he has worked without any problem."


PA

Sponsored links