Pellegrini backs Mangala to shine

Pellegrini backs Mangala to shine
Eliaquim Mangala

Manuel Pellegrini remains convinced under-fire Eliaquim Mangala will establish himself as a key figure in the Manchester City defence.

France centre-back Mangala has endured a difficult start to life in the Barclays Premier League following his £32m summer arrival from Porto.

The 23-year-old endured a torrid afternoon as City were beaten 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday, and to compound his woes opposition boss Sam Allardyce later revealed he had been targeted as the weak link.

Mangala also struggled in a game at Hull a month ago but manager Pellegrini has not lost faith.

Pellegrini remembers how Martin Demichelis was ridiculed after some calamitous performances when he joined the club last season but the Argentinian has now turned that situation around.

Pellegrini said: “The same thing happened with Martin Demichelis last year. Remember all the criticism for him after he just arrived in the Premier League.

“I think Eliaquim Mangala is a young player and he has a lot of experience. I am sure we bought the centre-back that we need in him.

“This year with him, Vincent (Kompany), Martin, (Matija) Nastasic and Dedryck Boyata we have centre-backs that I can assure you will play very well.”

Mangala and Bacary Sagna were signed in the close season to increase Pellegrini’s defensive options as it was felt City lacked depth in this area.

Performances this term, however, have been inconsistent with 17 goals conceded in 14 games in all competitions, including the Community Shield.

Pellegrini accepts improvement is needed, but he says that applies across the pitch and not only to the defence.

The Chilean said: “I think it’s very it’s important to have clean sheets. As a team you play easily or you play with more trust when you don’t concede any easy goal at the beginning.

“But I think we must improve in general, not just talking about the defending. We must create more chances, we must score more goals.

“We are working on that and I am absolutely sure we will return to be the same team we were in the most important part of last season.

“But the only way is to compare last season with this season. And I don’t think we are any worse this season.”

More on this topic

Pep Guardiola urges City to embrace ‘special’ Manchester derby to build momentumPep Guardiola urges City to embrace ‘special’ Manchester derby to build momentum

Kevin De Bruyne a doubt for Manchester derbyKevin De Bruyne a doubt for Manchester derby

Guardiola: We can’t improve on last seasonGuardiola: We can’t improve on last season

City boss Pep Guardiola not expecting easy Carabao Cup final against VillaCity boss Pep Guardiola not expecting easy Carabao Cup final against Villa

More in this Section

Decision day for English football amid calls for player wage cutsDecision day for English football amid calls for player wage cuts

McGregor says Nurmagomedov is to blame after Ferguson fight is postponed againMcGregor says Nurmagomedov is to blame after Ferguson fight is postponed again

Hurling Hands: Gary Kirby - ‘I broke my collarbone. The treatment was to put me in corner forward’Hurling Hands: Gary Kirby - ‘I broke my collarbone. The treatment was to put me in corner forward’

Say no to bizarre ideas to get sports going againSay no to bizarre ideas to get sports going again


Lifestyle

Much has been said about the perils of being stuck in the house 24/7, like family pets interrupting your important conference calls, your partner leaving their dirty dishes everywhere and the lack of respite from the kids.Silver lining: Seven enforced money-saving habits you might want to continue after lockdown

Put you and your loved ones' pop-culture knowledge to the test with Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll's three fiendishly fun quiz rounds.Scene and Heard: the Arts Ed's family entertainment quiz

A passion for heritage and the discovery of some nifty new software has resulted in an Irish architect putting colour on thousands of old photographs, writes Marjorie BrennanBringing the past to life

Richard Hogan, family psychotherapist, addresses a reader's question about life during lockdownHolding on: how to help your child through the crisis

More From The Irish Examiner