Pellegrini: Time for league focus

Manuel Pellegrini wants Malaga to focus on the league after securing their passage to the last-16 of the Champions League.

Last Updated: 09/11/12 at 16:34 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: In need of a win in the league

Manuel Pellegrini: In need of a win in the league

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Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini wants his side to focus on the league after securing their passage to the last-16 of the Champions League with a 1-1 away to AC Milan in midweek.

The Boquerones are in need of a win on return to domestic action after losing at home to Rayo Vallecano last weekend and the Chilean is not expecting things to be easy despite Sociedad's struggles in recent weeks.

He told the club's website: "For us it was a very important objective just as much in a sporting sense as an economic one. We achieved it with authority and that allows us to concentrate on the league knowing that the objective is completed without forgetting that we want to try and be first in the group.

"Sociedad have a very good squad, perhaps they have had some adverse results with a bit of bad fortune. It is a squad of good players where (Philippe) Montanier has already been working for two years so they know very clearly how they are going to play."

Malaga will be without the suspended duo of Martin Demichelis and Nacho Camacho so Oguchi Onyewu could make his first league start for the club and Jeremy Toulalan will return after just over a month out through injury.

Montanier meanwhile has had to deal with calls from the fans for him to be sacked after a run of four defeats in five, but he insists his concentration is firmly on preparing his side for the upcoming games rather than the speculation surrounding his future.

He told Diario Vasco: "I accept the reaction of the fans and everyone. I think there is a great frustration after the defeat to Cordoba, to lose as we did at the end against Espanyol.

"I can't think about my job. Firstly, we have this game in Malaga and then we have three matches at home. I am more worried about this than the other stuff.

"It is my responsibility to prepare the team and the games. I cannot dedicate my time to trying to interpret my relationship with the fans. The important thing is to pick up points and change the situation of the team."

The Frenchman's cause will not be helped by a number of absentees through injury for the trip to La Rosaleda, including top-scorer Antoine Griezmann and midfielders Markel Bergara and David Zurutuza.

In their absence Chori Castro should be handed a rare start, whilst youngster Javi Ros could also start for the first time this season.


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