Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he would rather fail to win a trophy than lose the trust of his players after his decision to field second-choice keeper Willy Caballero paid off in Sunday's League Cup final win over Liverpool.
Despite pressure from the media to start with England international Joe Hart in goal, Pellegrini stuck with Caballero who has made just four Premier League starts since moving from Spanish side Malaga in July 2014.
The 34-year-old Argentine was the hero as he saved three penalties to help City secure a 3-1 shootout win after the game had finished 1-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium.
"I would prefer to lose a title than lose my word. My word is more important than football... I'm happy to win it that way with Willy as a great hero," Pellegrini told British media.
"Maybe most of the media were waiting for him to make a mistake and criticise my decision but I promised he would play both cups... But I never lost trust in him because I know how good a player he is."
City, who are fourth in the league nine points adrift of leaders Leicester City with a game in hand, visit ninth-placed Liverpool tomorrow night.