Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has joked that keeping calm in press conferences is one of the hardest parts of a manager’s job.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson this week made headlines when he called a journalist “an ostrich” in a bizarre confrontation after his relegation-threatened side’s loss to Chelsea.
Pearson took exception to a question and suggested the reporter was either being “very, very silly” or “absolutely stupid”. He has since apologised but the incident has received considerable public attention and highlighted how media responsibilities are very much part of a manager’s work.
Pellegrini, who won the Premier League title last season, has been famously calm throughout his two seasons at City but claims he was not always that way.
The 61-year-old Chilean said: “It is the most difficult thing to do as a manager.
“For me, one of the most difficult things was to change my character, to try and be cool and understand that every journalist can ask what he wants — with respect of course — and the managers can answer what they want, with respect.
“It is difficult. Maybe as a younger manager, I didn’t control so much my character. Now I can do it because the years help me.”
Pellegrini was speaking at a press conference to preview his side’s game at Tottenham on Sunday and he was not the only manager to be asked about one of this week’s major talking points.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted he could understand how the matter unfolded, given the pressures of the job.
He said: “I have sympathy (with Pearson), of course. He apologised and he knows he was wrong but it is not always easy to deal with these kinds of situations.
“We are all human beings and when you play for your club not to go down, it is massive pressure.”
Wenger admitted he himself has been close to losing his temper “many, many, many times”.
“You know you have to control yourself and remain in control and polite and respectful,” he said.
“But of course sometimes you feel that people are not respectful of you.”
Hull manager Steve Bruce admitted there have been a number of occasions when he has said or done something he later regretted.
He said: “I think sometimes, after a game in particular when you are disappointed — he has just lost a game — you have to come out and face the press and sometimes you find it quite amusing.
“I think after games sometimes the emotion comes out and we have all done silly and stupid things you regret.
“I have seen myself run up and down touchlines and you think, ’Oh my God, Steve, what are you doing, have a bit of dignity and respect for your opponents’.
“It has made fantastic headlines. It was great watching it at the time and I think we have all enjoyed it. I think even the reporter has enjoyed it as we all know who he is now, so fair play to him.”
West Brom head coach Tony Pulis said managers had to find a way to deal with the pressures they are under.
He said: “It’s a difficult job being a manager at a Premier League club. You have so many responsibilities and the weight of responsibility is on your shoulders.
“It’s the first time Nigel has managed in the Premier League and he has done fantastically well so far. They have a great chance of staying up and getting out of trouble and a couple of weeks ago everyone wrote them off.
“Nigel said what he said and he has to live by that. People deal with it differently.
“We’re not all the same, thank God, and the thing is with Nigel is he is a very honest, up front sort of guy and wears his heart on his sleeve.”
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew said: “Managers are in pressurised situations after matches. The circumstances were difficult for the manager, but he’s apologised.”
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