Pellegrini looking for big finish
Published 10/05/2014 | 14:17
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has urged his side to carry on where they left off in midweek and complete their title charge in emphatic style.
City scored four times in the final 26 minutes against Aston Villa on Wednesday to put themselves within touching distance of a second Barclays Premier League crown in three seasons.
Pellegrini's men, with a two-point advantage over Liverpool and much superior goal difference, effectively now need just a point from their final game at home to West Ham on Sunday to finish the job.
But Pellegrini has no intention of settling for a draw and intends to play with the same attacking verve that has served his side so well for much of the season.
City beat West Ham 6-0 on the London side's last visit to the Etihad Stadium, in the Capital One Cup in January, and a repeat would certainly do nicely.
Pellegrini said: "We beat them here in the Capital One Cup, it was a very good game and I hope we can repeat it, but the best way to do it is to play in the same way.
"We did it especially against Aston Villa. I think that was one of the best games we played the whole year."
City's 4-0 victory over Villa took their tally of league goals for the campaign to 100.
Sergio Aguero - who has scored 17 of those goals, and is the club's top scorer overall with 28 - could return after missing the midweek win with a groin injury.
The Argentinian knows all about last-day heroics having scored the late winner against QPR when City snatched the title from Manchester United in dramatic fashion in 2012.
Yet if he is not deemed ready to start, City certainly have another in-form striker to turn to who can keep the goals flowing in Edin Dzeko.
The World Cup-bound Bosnian, inconsistent throughout his three years at City, has delivered in recent weeks during Aguero's injury-enforced absence and following Alvaro Negredo's loss of form.
In City's crucial last three games, when they have seized control of the title race from Liverpool, Dzeko has scored five - doubles against Villa and Everton, and another at Crystal Palace - and now has 26 for the season overall.
Pellegrini said: "I think it was very important at the beginning of the season to have a good squad - more than a team - a squad.
"At this moment Edin is in a very high level of performance, he is doing very well.
"In other moments it was Alvaro Negredo or Kun Aguero, so I think all the players are involved."
Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce admits his future as West Ham manager is far from certain but is urging the Hammers to remember the club's position when he took charge before they decide to pull the trigger.
Allardyce arrived at Upton Park in June 2011 after the club had just been relegated to the Championship by finishing bottom of the Premier League.
He guided the club back to the top flight at the first attempt and has overseen the team's survival for two consecutive campaigns.
Inconsistent results and a direct style of play however have drawn regular criticism from the club's support this season, with reports emerging on Thursday Allardyce faces the sack following the final match at City.
"Nobody ever knows when or if it's going to happen to you, you just have to do the best you can with the resources you've got," Allardyce said.
"Everybody needs to remember this club was down and out when I took over.
"It was in the Championship and historically it wasn't guaranteed to get back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
"If you look at the number of teams that get back into the Premier League first time round it's very few.
"We've progressed from there and we are trying to establish ourselves as a Barclays Premier League club now."