Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini takes the high ground

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists his players will never surround referees in an attempt to influence decisions.

The issue of player behaviour towards officials has been highlighted this week after Chelsea were heavily criticised for their actions during the Champions League game against Paris St Germain on Wednesday.

One incident saw nine Chelsea players surround Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers after a challenge by Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Oscar that resulted in the PSG striker's dismissal.

That came two days after Manchester United playmaker Angel di Maria was sent off after grabbing referee Michael Oliver's shirt in an FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford.

Pellegrini said: "You will never see a player of City surround the referee. I don't think that's the way this team is prepared to win.

"Maybe you can discuss with the referee about a decision, but just (for) one moment in the game."

Pellegrini has rarely strayed from his attacking philosophies during his two seasons at the Etihad Stadium, insisting he wants his team to win playing attractive football.

He says his style will never include attempts to influence referees and nor does he think it is right to lambast their decisions.

The 61-year-old insisted he was trying to make general points and was not specifically speaking about title-rivals Chelsea - or his Blues counterpart Jose Mourinho - but his remarks could be construed that way.

"I think all the managers prepare their players to win," said Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference to preview Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Burnley. "There are different styles of winning. Maybe when you are winning the style doesn't matter.

"Normally the pressure is to win. When you don't win and then start to criticise, for me, I can't accept that.

"If (in) every game, every time the referee has a decision you have all the players on top of him, it's impossible for the referee to work.

"I always say that it's very important to win - for me the most important thing is to win - but I think there are different ways to win. You must analyse which is the correct way and which is not the correct way.

"I'm not talking about Chelsea. I'm talking about a lot of things that happen in different games with different teams but they always work in trying to pressure the referee in every decision, so the referee always has problems.

"A lot of media here say these are mind games, intelligent mind games."


From Belfast Telegraph