Pellegrini: Work still to do

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits they are still working to establish themselves as one of the top sides in Europe and the best in their home city.

Last Updated: 25/03/14 at 19:20 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City not the finished article

Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City not the finished article

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

City have emerged from the shadow of United and have the chance to do the double over them with victory at Old Trafford tonight.

But Pellegrini has been keen to pay due respect to United ahead of the clash, insisting they must progress further in order to establish themselves as a major force on a consistent basis.

"I think this club has been trying to work in the last four years to reduce the difference we have against important teams - against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, and in Europe as well," he said.

"It is always important because when you have two important teams from the same city you always want to be the best team.

"But we are not just fighting against Manchester United and in some ways it doesn't matter."

The Chilean was also keen to explain previous comments where he appeared to suggest City were now the dominant force in Manchester.

"It was easy because I meant in this season, the best team is Manchester City because we were top of the table," he added.

"But at the same moment I said we must recognise what Manchester United have done in the last 20 years.

"Of course all the other clubs expected United would be in the top positions in the table (this season), but for different reasons at this time they are not. But they continue to be a difficult team.

"It is difficult because for so many years the same person managed a team with his ideas.

"It is difficult to analyse without knowing it from the inside - but it was always going to be difficult to replace (Sir) Alex Ferguson."

As for tonight's game, Pellegrini says form will go out of the window, despite his side holding a 12-point advantage over their city rivals.

A victory at Old Trafford will aid their quest for a second Premier League title in three years.

But Pellegrini, whose first taste of the Manchester derby brought a thumping 4-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in September, has moved to play down the suggestion that the balance of power is shifting to the blue half of the city.

"I don't think we are favourites in any game," he said.

"We are in a good moment but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium, so I don't think we are the favourites.

"Of course we always expect to go and win every game but, I repeat, just because Manchester United have had a difficult season it does not mean we are going to win.

"We have to go there and play a very good game."

City sit six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with three games in hand, and Pellegrini will have captain Vincent Kompany back to bolster his defence at Old Trafford.

United go into the derby in good spirits on the back of successive wins over Olympiakos and West Ham, but Pellegrini also believes his side's torrid week against Wigan and Barcelona earlier this month could stand his own side in good stead.

"All of us want to stay in every competition but when you are eliminated one of the positive things - if you can find a positive thing - is that we are now just focusing on the Premier League," added Pellegrini.

"You don't have problems in that sense, mentally or physically. We are just trying to fight for the title.

"I know we must go game by game and we just have to win on Tuesday and then at Arsenal on Saturday after that."

Watch Manchester United v Manchester City live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky 3D from 7pm tonight.

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

ark clattenburg is one of those referees that tends to get stick from both sides cos he likes to let the game flow and is quite lenient, and people only remember the fouls against their own team that go unpunished whilst not noticing the ones they've gotten away with. To pick up 4 yellow cards with clattenburg in charge speaks volumes about your approach to the game mr pellegrini.

cc1
Pellegrini: Ref cost us game

V

astly under-rated goal keeper. Barcelona could have gone out and bought a keeper at any point they liked, but they stuck with him for a reason.

HarryBoulton
Victor Valdes The Perfect Option For Liverpool

A

s things stand he's joined the team at the top of Serie A :)

shea666
Milan: Van Ginkel deal tough

Footer 365

Premier League: Morgan Schneiderlin feels Southampton squad could be stronger this season

Morgan Schneiderlin does not feel the busy summer of transfer business at Southampton has had an adverse effect.

Primera Division: Atletico beat Real in Madrid derby; Barca defeat Athletic Bilbao

Neymar's brace gave Barcelona a win over Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp, while Atletico beat Real in the Madrid derby.

Bundesliga: Shinji Kagawa scores in Borussia Dortmund win, Bayern Munich triumph

Bayern Munich returned to winning ways with victory over Stuttgart, while Shinji Kagawa scored for Borussia Dortmund.

Mail Box

A Lousy Day At The Office For Liverpool

We have some excellent thoughts on Arsenal's draw and Liverpool's woeful loss, plus praise for Villa, Diego Costa, Philippe Senderos and the 'final' word on hitting the post...

Was LvG Too Quick To Judge Welbeck?

That's one shout in the mailbox, which typically includes a reference to the great man's cojones. Plus, more on Jack Wilshere and F365's free transfer David Bowers...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property