Pellegrini plays down home record
Published 02/02/2014 | 13:52
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini does not expect his side's formidable home form to bother Chelsea - but is urging the team to carry on powering forward.
City have swept aside all comers to the Etihad Stadium in Barclays Premier League this season, winning all 11 of their games and scoring 42 goals in the process.
In all competitions, only European champions Bayern Munich have not been beaten at Eastlands.
Pellegrini intends to continue in much the same way even though Monday's clash with Chelsea has plenty riding on it in title terms.
The Chilean said: "I don't know what the other teams think.
"For us it is very important to think that it's a new game and we don't know if we are going to score a goal, and we are not just thinking of scoring goals.
"I think in football all that has happened in the past is not important.
"Maybe one team can be feared, another team cannot be feared. One can come here just to defend, another team will think it is better to attack.
"I don't know what will happen, but for our team it is very important not to think about the past.
"To do it again we must repeat exactly the way we are playing here at the Etihad."
The match has been given extra spice by some of the comments of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese has a perceived rivalry with Pellegrini dating back to when he succeeded the City boss as Real Madrid coach in 2010.
Mourinho has said City must be the title favourites and that they will be expected to score several goals.
And although he did not name City, he has also provocatively suggested some clubs have a "dodgy" approach to financial fair play rules.
Yet if this is an attempt at mind games with Pellegrini, the South American is letting it go over his head.
Pellegrini has reacted with indifference to all of Mourinho's remarks.
Even when reminded of Mourinho's celebrations after Chelsea beat City in October, which appeared to irritate him at the time, Pellegrini has no opinion.
He said: "I remember perfectly but, I repeat, I don't want this game to be a thing about Mourinho and me."
Chelsea won the clash at Stamford Bridge after a late mix-up between goalkeeper Joe Hart and defender Matija Nastasic gifted Fernando Torres a winner.
Pellegrini feels his team matched Chelsea on that occasion but contributed to their own downfall.
He said: "I don't know if they were lucky. We made a mistake in the last minute.
"Maybe they didn't play better than we did. We tried to win the game but football has another thing that has a lot of importance in the scores.
"In that game, they won because of our errors.
"I don't know if winning (on Monday) is a strong message.
"It is important because we play at home against a team that fights for the title, but anything that happens in this game is not the end of the Premier League.
"After that you still have 42 points to play for."