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Manuel Pellegrini ready to fight fire with fire against Manchester City

Hammers boss is not willing to back down.


Manuel Pellegrini, right, tales on Pep Guardiola on Saturday

Manuel Pellegrini, right, tales on Pep Guardiola on Saturday

Manuel Pellegrini, right, tales on Pep Guardiola on Saturday

Manuel Pellegrini insists West Ham will take the game to Manchester City despite the memory of some recent hidings.

Champions City have won their last three trips to the London Stadium 4-1, 4-0 and 5-0, and have already racked up five wins by five or more goals this season.

Yet Hammers boss Pellegrini, who was appointed in the summer, refuses to be intimidated and plans to go toe-to-toe with his former club when he faces them for the first time on Saturday.

“There are different ways to try to play,” he said. “The first thing is you know you must not make mistakes.

“If you make a mistake, they have players who will take advantage. But they also have had difficult games this season.

“Lyon played well against them. Wolves played a good game against them. Liverpool and Tottenham played good games against them.

“There are different ways to do it. I don’t think all those teams played in the same way.

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“We are trying to continue thinking and playing as a big team. Of course, we consider who we are playing.

“But we are not going to play the game just to have a draw and not to concede too many goals. We are going to try to use the game as a good test.”

Pellegrini maintains he bears City boss Pep Guardiola no ill will despite being replaced by the Spaniard at the Etihad after three years in which he won the Premier League, two League Cups and reached the Champions League semi-finals.

Also, while in charge of Real Madrid Pellegrini was pipped by for the title by Guardiola’s Barcelona despite a record 96-point haul.

Yet he said: “I have a good relationship with Pep, I have no problems with him. He was always a rival with me.

“With Manchester City I played twice against him with Bayern Munich and also with Real Madrid and Malaga when he was at Barcelona. Now we are going to play City against West Ham.

“I think he is a good manager who manages the team in the way I like to do also.

“To lose the title with 96 points and scoring 105 goals is not an easy way to do it – but that’s football and that’s why it is the most popular sport in the world.”

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