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Champions League Group E

Hughes warning for Pellegrini

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has warned Manuel Pellegrini of the perils of the "balancing act" he faces at Manchester City.

Last Updated: 17/09/13 at 14:55 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Saw his team draw 0-0 at Stoke on Saturday

Manuel Pellegrini: Saw his team draw 0-0 at Stoke on Saturday

Despite an unconvincing home win over Hull last time out, which followed a 3-2 defeat at Cardiff, the Chilean chose to make six changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium.

Pellegrini was clearly holding some players in reserve for the Champions League Group D opener at Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night.

As a result, City were distinctly below par again and Stoke looked the more likely side to win - but Joe Hart denied Kenwyne Jones on more than one occasion to keep the scoreline blank.

When asked about Pellegrini's rotation policy, former Etihad Stadium manager Hughes said: "You need to know what the Premier League is like.

"It's unforgiving and no game is easy. You can't really place one game above another because you can come unstuck.

"Very rarely do you get teams from the bottom beating the top (abroad) but in the Premier League you always have examples of that, and that's why everyone watches it.

"That's a balancing act that Manuel Pellegrini will have to cope with. It's not easy, but he has got great riches there in terms of talent."

Hughes acknowledges the Champions League is taking on ever more importance for Manchester City as they seek to reach the knockout stage at the third time of asking.

"I think the progression is there for everyone to see," said Hughes in the Daily Mail. "They have won every cup and gone on to actually win the Premier League, but the one thing that they have not been able to make any progress in is the Champions League.

"It's probably the one stick that people can use to hit them over the head with. I suppose that is the basis on what they will judged by this year because of their lack of success in it so they will be looking to do better in the Champions League this year, I'm sure."

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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Rodgers: The pressure's on

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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Neville: Reds need a rest

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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