Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini 'not concerned' about title pressure

 

Manuel Pellegrini says he feels no pressure to win the Premier League title with Manchester City.

The Blues lost out to city rivals Manchester United last season, after winning the trophy in 2012.

But former Malaga coach Pellegrini, who replaced Roberto Mancini in June, said his focus for the coming campaign was on developing City's youth programme.

"I'm not only here to win trophies, I'm here to work with young players," said the 59-year-old Chilean.

"I'm not concerned about finishing second. I'm not concerned about the pressures."

Pellegrini's record in Spain

  • Villarreal (2004-2009): Games: 259; Won: 123; Drew: 72; Lost: 64
  • Real Madrid (2009-2010): Games: 48; Won: 36; Drew 5; Lost: 7
  • Malaga (2010-2013): Games: 130; Won: 53; Drew: 30; Lost: 47

However he stressed "immediate success" was still an aim.

So far this summer, City have signed 27-year-old Spain winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, 28, from Shakhtar Donetsk.

"As a coach we want immediate success. I'm trying to have a strong squad that can bring us trophies," he said.

Pellegrini said he also plans to sign a striker but warned fans not to expect a large influx of players.

Speaking in his first news conference since becoming City boss, he added: "We need a very good squad.

"Next week, we'll see about different players (in the current squad).

"I can't buy four or five players every year, we need to work with young players."

While Pellegrini suggested there will not be wholesale changes, he does intend to make his own mark on City's playing style.

"Man City fans will see a different way of playing than they have seen in other years," he said. "We will try to be an attractive team."

Mancini was sacked on 13 May,  a year to the day after he won City's first Premier League title.

Despite winning the league and the FA Cup during three-and-a-half years in charge, Mancini was criticised at times for a defensive style of play.

Pellegrini said: "One of the reasons I am here is for the way we play."

The Chilean, nicknamed 'The Engineer' because he has studied engineering, did not elaborate on his planned tactics.

Pellegrini is renowned for being flexible. In the away leg of last season's last-16 Champions League clash against Porto, his attacking Malaga side stuck rigidly to a defensive 4-5-1 formation - and only conceded only once.

Pellegrini then altered the system for the second leg to 4-2-3-1 - as goals from Isco and Roque Santa Cruz gave Malaga a 2-0 win on the night, and a 2-1 aggregate victory to secure their spot in the quarter-finals.

The new City boss insisted that neither he nor the club had prioritised winning the Premier League over the Champions League.

The 2011-12 league champions finished 11 points behind rivals Manchester United in the race for the title, and failed to progress past the group stages in the Champions League.

Pellegrini chose City over other jobs

"We don't prioritise one more than the other," added Pellegrini. "Man City need to improve on how they've performed in the Champions League, while the Premier League is very important."

The manager also said that the battle for Premier League honours next season was not simply between the Manchester sides.

"We have United, Chelsea, Tottenham - five or six teams who are trying to win the league. We will try to repeat what we achieved two seasons ago."

Fernandinho, brought in before Pellegrini was officially installed as manager, said he hoped to build a good bond with the Chilean.

"I spent eight years with the same manager [Mircea Lucescu at Shakhtar Donetsk] and the relationship was great," said the Brazilian through a translator.

"I hope I can build a great relationship with Pellegrini."