Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini: Pep Guardiola is well suited to Many City

Swansea 1 - Man City 1

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manuel Pellegrini believes that Pep Guardiola has all the tools he needs to be "very successful" at Manchester City when the Catalan coach replaces him this summer.

Pellegrini yesterday ended his three-year spell at City with a 1-1 draw that secures fourth place and a spot in August's two-legged Champions League play-off round.

Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring for City after five minutes before Andre Ayew levelled just before the break.

Pellegrini, who won one Premier League title and two Capital One Cups in his three seasons at the Etihad, said that his side had consistently been the best in England over his tenure, and predicted that same success, with more young players, would continue.

"I am very proud of these players, who won three titles with me," Pellegrini said. "This squad was the highest scoring team in the three seasons, and the team with the most points (over three seasons). I think these players deserve a lot more praise. I think that is a good season, and a good cycle of three seasons."

Pellegrini said that City's season had been disrupted by the announcement in February that he would be replaced by Guardiola, but wished his successor well.

"I am sure Guardiola will be a very successful manager," said Pellegrini, who will not meet the new manager to discuss City's players because he believe Ferran Sorriano and Txiki Begiristain will tell him all that he needs to know.

"I haven't spoken to Guardiola, I don't think that we need to speak," Pellegrini said. "He knows what this club is perfectly, he has friends inside here. He is a very important manager in Europe so I am sure he will have all the information."

Pellegrini has not criticised City's decision to replace him, but did say that the move had affected his players.

"One of the most difficult things this season after they announced the change, was the atmosphere inside the team," Pellegrini said.

"It is not easy for a team to read every day that '11 players will leave, they are coming, they are finished'. That is why we are so proud of them. Because they are very important players who focused their mind on what we must do this season."

Pellegrini also predicted that in the next stage of City's development the club would finally start to field young players, something that he has been criticised for not doing throughout his tenure.

"I think in the next years you will see some players from the academy," Pellegrini said. "Remember this club started the real process to become a big team in the last eight years. When you are trying to have a big squad at the beginning, maybe the young players must be postponed a while.

"Now we are working well in all the young divisions, we made it to the (FA Youth Cup) final against Chelsea this season. So I am sure you will see young players soon playing in the first squad."

Pellegrini finished by thanking the fans, to whom he threw his City suit jacket at the end of the game (above), for their support in the last few years.

"It was to say thanks to the fans," Pellegrini said. "I always appreciate the support of the fans, the way they appreciate the style of the team, it is important to win titles but also the style you win."

SWANSEA: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Fernandez, Amat, Kingsley, Britton, Cork, Fer, Routledge (Barrow, 58 mins), Montero (Gomis, 82 mins), Ayew.

Unused subs: Vickers, Naughton, Fulton, Gorre, Emnes.

MAN CITY: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas, De Bruyne, Iheanacho (Nasri, 72 mins), Aguero (Yaya Toure, 90 mins).

Unused subs: Caballero, Sterling, Kolarov, Demichelis, Bony

Man of the Match: Iheanacho

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Mike Dean



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