Manuel Pellegrini: FA Cup final defeat was a lesson for Man City

Selecting cup final team 'not easy'

Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City's players learned a "lesson" from last year's Wembley woe as they prepare for the Capital One Cup final.

City lost to Wigan in the FA Cup final last May - with Roberto Mancini sacked as manager two days later.

Pellegrini, Mancini's successor, will lead the club against Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday.

"I don't like to talk with them about last year but I'm sure for every player it is a lesson," the 60-year-old said.

"It's beautiful to play for a title at Wembley and very awful to lose it.

"For all of them it is not revenge - it is another team, another year, another situation - but I am absolutely sure all will be 100% motivated to win."

Pellegrini arrived from Malaga in the summer under pressure to deliver silverware at the Etihad Stadium, with chief executive Ferran Soriano setting a target of five trophies in five years.

A run of eight successive Premier League wins raised hopes of a quadruple bid - but their chances were damaged in February by a Premier League defeat against title rivals Chelsea and a 2-0 loss at home to Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first-leg meeting.

Sunday's match offers Pellegrini his first chance of a trophy with City.

"We would be very happy if we achieve it because it reflects all your work from the year," the Chilean said.

"We have played play a very good Capital One Cup because we have won all the games, scored 19 goals and conceded just one.

"I think it is very important to win the Cup and the way we play."

Pellegrini is therefore under pressure to deliver but he does not think it is any greater on him than any other manager elsewhere.

He said: "The pressure is always exactly the same for all the teams.

"The pressure is a personal pressure - for managers, players, all of us. I think we have the same pressure to win.

"It is very important for this club to win titles. To win the first trophy at Wembley is very important."

Sunderland, who are in the Premier League's bottom three, reached the final after knocking out Chelsea and Manchester United - the latter via a dramatic semi-final penalty shoot-out - and Pellegrini has warned his team against complacency,

He said: "It is always dangerous playing against any team. Sunderland have a lot of motivation to win this cup, the same as any team.

"I am sure we are the favourites but we cannot forget that Sunderland eliminated Chelsea and Manchester United - big teams.

Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Matija Nastasic and Gareth Barry
Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Matija Nastasic and Gareth Barry cut dejected figures after the FA Cup final defeat against Wigan last May

"They are in the final because they deserved it. I am absolutely sure it will be a very close game."

Top scorer Sergio Aguero, who has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury, is included in the squad after returning to training this week.

Pellegrini, who must decide whether to stick with the players who have got his team to Wembley or call on his stellar names, said: "Of course, it is very important for the team to have Sergio again with us because he is a very important player. We must see if he is 100% to play the whole match.

"It is not easy to choose the 11 starters. All the players deserve to play.

"A lot of them played the whole Cup run, other players the Premier League or Champions League - because at that moment, it was necessary for them to play in that competition. I will try to choose the best XI as I did in all the other games."