Toure's critics are wide of the mark, says Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini believes Yaya Toure is being unfairly targeted by critics this season.
The Manchester City boss accepts the Ivory Coast midfielder may have fallen below his own high standards but is convinced he is still doing a crucial job for his team.
Toure, the driving force behind two title successes, has been criticised for a lack of significant output in recent weeks and pundits and fans have suggested he could be past his best. The 32-year-old was lacklustre in Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg defeat at Everton but Pellegrini insists this was a blip.
He said: "He's not so old. I think he's a player who is very important, an experienced player and he knows how to play every game. Maybe to play the whole season three games a week, he is not able to do it, but I think he can play in the way he's playing now. He can make a difference.
"Every time people say we have not got the squad we need, people always look at Yaya, but remember he scored three times in the last few games.
"Maybe against Everton he didn't play very well but every player has better or worse games. You can't talk always about it being because he's older. Everyone can have a bad game. Maybe it's the image, the body language, but if you review the numbers of Yaya, each game he runs as much as every team-mate."
Pellegrini's defence of his player comes after Toure expressed frustration at missing out on the African Player of the Year award for 2015.