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Pellegrini remains confident

Published 10/04/2015

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has attempted to play down his team's problems
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has attempted to play down his team's problems

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini remains confident in his position - because he has "never been a coward".

Pellegrini is under intense scrutiny at the Etihad Stadium with his side's Barclays Premier League title defence apparently in ruins.

Monday's disappointing loss at Crystal Palace has left the champions fourth in the table and trailing leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand, by nine points.

With no other silverware it has been a hugely underwhelming campaign and speculation over Pellegrini's future is rife, but the Chilean is not letting the pressure get to him.

The unflappable 61-year-old gives the impression he has seen most of it before having managed at hothouses such as River Plate and Real Madrid in a career that has taken in five countries.

He said: "Why am I so sure? Because I have experience, you know when a squad is behind you when you are working, you know when you work well or work bad.

"You can't talk about decisions which are not your decisions but if you ask me why I'm not afraid; because there are two things in my whole career - I have never been a coward and I am not afraid."

Pellegrini refused to go into detail when asked about his future at a press conference to preview Sunday's derby at Manchester United.

The former Villarreal and Malaga boss is not thought to be under immediate threat but a review of the season will be carried out by the club's hierarchy at the end of the campaign.

Pellegrini feels his side - who drew level at the top with Chelsea on New Year's Day - have just hit a bad run and maintains they are a strong unit.

He said: "I am not talking about my future because it is not important. I am just thinking about the game against Manchester United.

"We have to improve because we are not winning but we are the most attacking team, the team that has most possession of the ball, we don't concede many goals.

"I think the players are happy in the way we work and the way we play. I don't see any problems inside the club.

"You never know what will happen in August and at the end of the season but, if you ask me, I am not afraid because I think we are in the correct way but a bad moment."

City have won just four of their last 11 Premier League games and also gone out of the FA Cup and Champions League during that timespan.

In his analysis of performances, Pellegrini has often suggested that he does not feel there is much wrong with his team.

But he is well aware that, if he does survive, there could be a big summer ahead. Despite all the narrow defeats where he has felt his team has been unlucky, he recognises that the squad could need some significant remodelling.

He said: "We must improve a lot of things. We are not doing all wrong - but we must improve.

"I analyse the games and we have a lot of possession - I don't remember many saves from Joe Hart and we are defending well, but we must improve our movement because we are playing always against eight, nine or 10 men behind the ball. We are not doing enough in that moment to score the goals.

"We are not doing it all badly but we must improve our attacking play. We need to create more chances. We are creating a lot but we cannot win, so maybe we need to create double."

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