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I don't think my job is in danger - Manuel Pellegrini

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

REUTERS

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini called on his team to deliver in Barcelona as he again asserted confidence in his position.

Pellegrini has become noticeably more bullish in recent weeks as pressure and speculation over his future have increased.

The Chilean is under considerable scrutiny with his side faltering in their Barclays Premier League title defence and seemingly needing to overturn a deficit in Barcelona to salvage their season.

City go to the Nou Camp on Wednesday for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie trailing 2-1 after defeat to the Catalan giants at the Etihad Stadium three weeks ago.

Pellegrini was inevitably asked about his future as he met media on the eve of the match but he brushed off the questions and tried to rouse his players.

The 61-year-old said: "First of all I respect all opinions but I don't think my seat is in danger. But even if it was I wouldn't do anything differently, I would do the same thing and focus and concentrate on the game.

"I want to say there's no such strange atmosphere at Manchester City. We're second in the Premier League, still playing strong and are going to fight to prove it tomorrow.

"It is a good opportunity for our team and the only way to prove it is to beat one of the biggest teams in Europe and we have that chance tomorrow."

Pellegrini was joined at the pre-match press conference by key midfielder and former Barcelona player Yaya Toure, who missed the first leg through suspension.

Toure was also asked about Pellegrini's future but chose to focus on the collective responsibility of everyone involved in the team.

"I think football is like that," said Toure, when asked about the rumours concerning Pellegrini.

"Last year was brilliant, everyone was saying Manchester City are a top team in Europe, but all of a sudden we have some problems and we're the worst team in the world. We can deal with that.

"We all know what we have to do, the owners have spent a lot of money to make this one of the top clubs in Europe. We have had some difficulties but we are working hard.

"It's not the first time we have been in this situation. We'll try to do it for the fans and the club and the people who continue to help us."

Pellegrini, who has managed three clubs in Spain, was asked some awkward questions by the Catalan press at a busy press conference in the team's beachside hotel.

But he took them all in his stride and even laughed at one convoluted query about whether he felt Barcelona were better because they responded more to Luis Enrique than City do to him.

"You don't know the kind of confidence my players have in me," said Pellegrini, who oversaw two trophy successes last season.

"You could have asked the question the other way round if we were talking two months ago. All teams go through different moments and we will try to do our best with dedication and hard work."

City were beaten by Barca at the same stage last season, losing both legs in a 4-1 aggregate defeat. City had a player sent off in both those matches, as they did when the sides met last month.

Pellegrini said: "We are not going to play against an easy team but I'm sure that if the three ties we played before were 11 v 11 it could have been different.

"We are going to have bad moments during the game but we have a team that can do its best in this type of game."

Toure, who left Barca for City in a £24million deal almost five years ago, did back captain and defender Vincent Kompany to prove his recent critics wrong.

He said: "Every players has some doubt, some problems, it's part of football. Sometimes you can have ups and down but he will have full focus because this game is very important for us. I hope tomorrow we will deliver."

Online Editors