Tuesday 25 October 2016

Pellegrini relaxed ahead of review

Published 22/05/2015 | 22:46

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident he will still be in position next season
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident he will still be in position next season

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has played down the significance of his anticipated end-of-season review with the club's top brass.

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The Chilean is expected to meet with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and chief executive Ferran Soriano - possibly as early as this weekend - to analyse the 2014-15 campaign.

Such meetings have become protocol under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour and, given City's underwhelming season, this year's has been interpreted as an appraisal that could lead to Pellegrini's exit.

Speculation over Pellegrini's position was rife in March and April as City went out of the Champions League and it became obvious their Barclays Premier League title defence was coming to a limp end.

But the 61-year-old, who retains credit after winning two trophies last season, has frequently spoken confidently about staying on and form in the closing weeks of the season has taken the heat off.

"There is not any special conversation," said Pellegrini, whose side are assured of second place ahead of Sunday's final game against Southampton after five successive wins.

"I don't think this club needs a special meeting to analyse the end of the season because we are always analysing every week what we are doing. All of us know exactly what we think.

"We can sit down to have a conversation because it's normal, but we are always having conversations every week. So it's not a special conversation at the end of the season."

When this meeting might take place is unknown, although with City flying out for their post-season tour of North America on Monday, it could occur on Sunday if Khaldoon attends the Southampton game at the Etihad Stadium.

Nobody at City has ever given any indication that there is a desire to remove Pellegrini, despite regular stories linking the club with other potential managers.

Speaking to the media at a press conference, Pellegrini underlined this point.

He said: "I am always confident because it's my way of thinking. I signed a contract here for three years and I have one year more.

"I never felt any problem from inside the club to finish my contract, so all the other things and the media news... I suppose you have important information, so we will see who is right at the end of the season."

Pellegrini readily admits he is not satisfied with how the season has turned out but he does not think the end result warrants a major inquisition.

He said: "In the Premier League it is not bad to be one year winning a title and the other when you cannot win it. It is better to win it twice but if you can't it is best to be second.

"But that doesn't mean I am happy with the season."

It may not involve Pellegrini, but changes are likely at Eastlands over the summer with a number of players possibly heading out.

Pellegrini said: "All the clubs, not just this club, must make changes at the end of the season. My words would be exactly the same if we won the title.

"It is important every year to make some changes and we will see which are the best changes.

"(It is) not major surgery because I don't think we need that but it is important to have some new faces.

"We will try every year to have a stronger squad, but not because our squad is too old or we lost the title this year. Every year it is important to make changes."

Press Association

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