independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Pellegrini stays silent over Toure

Manchester City's Manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to continue his war of words with Jose Mourinho

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to get drawn further into a war of words with his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho, this time over Yaya Toure escaping disciplinary action.

Pellegrini last week responded for the first time to Mourinho's regular jibes, and the Portuguese has since fired back yet again.

Mourinho's latest salvos concerned the decision by the Football Association not to take action against City midfielder Toure over an off-the-ball incident at Norwich last weekend, and calculations over the London club's transfer spending.

These came after Pellegrini responded to Mourinho's claim that Chelsea were the "little horse" of the three teams in the title race by saying they were "little, but rich".

Pellegrini had also suggested Mourinho was continually telling lies about City - there had been previous remarks about Financial Fair Play and luck with refereeing decisions - in the hope that some became established as the truth.

Pellegrini had previously refused to get involved in such tit for tat and the experienced Chilean, who clashed with Mourinho during their time in Spain, wants to revert to that position.

The 60-year-old said: "I answered just once to Mourinho because if you remain in silence always, (people) may agree with those things.

"He started talking about referees and Financial Fair Play, I don't think it is the way (to go about things).

"But just once. I will not continue every week talking about things that for me are not important."

Mourinho's frequent barbs have been depicted as mind games in a close Barclays Premier League title race but Pellegrini insists they will not work.

He said: "No, I don't think those are mind games. I don't think any managers can be affected by those kind of things."

An FA disciplinary panel opted not to take retrospective action against Toure after the Ivorian appeared to kick out at Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

The incident in Saturday's goalless draw at Carrow Road was missed by referee Jon Moss but caught on television and Mourinho suggested the Ivorian should face a violent conduct charge.

But Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference, said: "I repeat, I don't respond to things Mourinho says every week because he will continue every week to try talking about things that are not from football."

As for the incident itself, City might be relived that there is now no prospect of Toure facing a ban at a time when key players Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Samir Nasri are injured.

Pellegrini said: "I suppose the FA acts the way they think is better for all the teams. I trust in the FA and I trust in referees."

Mourinho claimed not charging Toure could effectively give players licence to "do whatever".

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