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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini: Garry Monk wasn't the problem at Swansea


Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini (right) has spoken in defence of sacked Swansea counterpart Garry Monk (left)

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini (right) has spoken in defence of sacked Swansea counterpart Garry Monk (left)

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini (right) has spoken in defence of sacked Swansea counterpart Garry Monk (left)

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Swansea may have acted prematurely in dismissing Garry Monk as manager.

The Swans announced the sacking of Monk on Wednesday after a run of just one win in 11 Barclays Premier League games.

That sequence has left the Welsh side just a point above the relegation zone but, after Monk guided them to eighth last season, Pellegrini does not think the manager is to blame.

The Chilean, whose side host the managerless Swans on Saturday, said: "I don't think the problem of Swansea was the manager. I am sure he is the same good manager who made a very good season last year.

"But in football you are never surprised by anything because so many things change."

Pellegrini hopes to take advantage of Swansea's disarray after his side were knocked off the top of the table following defeat at Stoke last weekend.

City were held to a frustrating draw by Aston Villa in Remi Garde's first match in charge last month but Pellegrini thinks that situation was different. Whereas Villa had made their appointment, Swansea are only just beginning their search for a new manager and will be under the charge of a caretaker boss in Alan Curtis.

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Pellegrini said: "Always when a club change a manager they have a special motivation in the first game, but that is always a different thing, I think they cannot change too much in two or three days."

City's recent form has been patchy, with just three wins from seven games in all competitions. But they will now look to build momentum after Tuesday's uplifting come-from-behind win against Borussia Monchengladbach to win their Champions League group.

City scored three goals in the last 11 minutes to win 4-2 with two goals coming from £49million forward Raheem Sterling on his 21st birthday.

Pellegrini was pleased with the performance of Sterling, who has now scored eight goals this season, but he expects the former Liverpool man to continue improving.

He said: "I think Raheem always works very well, from the first day to now. Maybe he plays different games, one better and another not so good, but I think the most important thing is to work every day with important players like David (Silva), Kun (Sergio Aguero) and Yaya (Toure). Those things are very important for a young player to improve.

"He is just 21 years old so he has a lot of years to improve. In the way he is doing, I think we will see he will improve year by year.

"He cannot be a player who scores just 11 goals as he did in another season. I hope in the future he will finish better and be involved more."

Sterling will continue to carry some of the team's goalscoring burden in the absence of Sergio Aguero. City's leading striker remains on the sidelines with a heel problem but could be back in training next week.

"We then play on Monday against Arsenal so we hope he will be fit for that game," said Pellegrini, who is also still without captain Vincent Kompany.

Striker Wilfried Bony will also hope to start against the club he left in a £25million deal in January. The Ivorian's City career is yet to take off after absences for international duty, illness and injuries, and struggles for form.

Pellegrini said: "He didn't do it against Stoke but he did a very good performance against Borussia."

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