Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has again defended his position following increased speculation over his future.
Pellegrini is under growing scrutiny as City’s season threatens to unravel and end in under-achievement.
City now seem unlikely to retain their Premier League title with having fallen six points behind Chelsea, who have a game in hand, after a run of just three wins in nine games.
Their hopes of salvaging something from the campaign now seem to comedown to the unlikely prospect of overturning a 2-1 deficit at Barcelona in the Champions League tomorrow night.
City axed Roberto Mancini after a frustrating 2012-13 season, just a year after winning the title, and – based on that – Pellegrini’s prospects could be bleak.
But the Chilean, who last week expressed desire to stay beyond the end of his current contract in 2016, has reiterated his belief that is not the situation.
Pellegrini said yesterday: “Roberto left the club for other reasons, not because he didn’t win anything one year. It’s not ’if you don’t win, you’re out.
“Of course winning trophies here is extremely important. I understand you can’t just say, ‘It doesn’t matter, we’ll come in fourth or fifth because we’ve got a long-term project’.
“But in the last four years this team has won two leagues, come second once, and won the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. I have never felt the situation is that if I don’t win I am out whatever happens.”
City have not built on last year’s second title success in three seasons and Pellegrini feels his team is still lacking a “crack” player to complement the firepower he already has.
Last summer’s spending had to be restricted to £49million net as punishment for the club’s failure to comply with European governing body UEFA’s Financial Fair Play restrictions.
Pellegrini said: “This year we improved the squad while working within those limits. What we did not do was bring in a crack. I think this team now needs a crack, another special player just to give us that sense that we are now at another level.”
Pellegrini thinks the FFP regulations have unfairly punished City. Owner Sheikh Mansour may have spent extraordinary sums recruiting players but that has been matched by heavy investment on infrastructure to grow the club and City are debt-free.”
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