at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Manuel Pellegrini said Friday he'd no reason to fear for his future as Manchester City manager despite recent results all but scuppering the club's Premier League title hopes this season.
Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with struggling Sunderland, which just a few days after City's 3-2 defeat away to leaders Liverpool, left Pellegrini's men six points off top spot with five games to play.
City have already won the League Cup this season, Pellegrini's first at Eastlands, and the 60-year-old Chilean expects to be back next term given he hasn't come under fire from the club's wealthy UAE-based owner Sheikh Mansour.
“It is not a problem in this moment,” Pellegrini said Friday. “I never heard anything in terms of a complaint.
“All of us want to win as much as we can but I haven't had any talks about that and I am not thinking about that.”
However, Pellegrini refused to get ahead of himself by being dragged into talk of next season.
“Although, of course, we are always trying to prepare for next season, first we must finish this season,” he said.
“It is more important to have all our minds -- the players and the manager, everyone here at the club -- on trying to finish this season in the best way,” added Pellegrini, whose team are four points adrift of second-placed Chelsea but with a game in hand.
Turning to the title race, he said: “I am absolutely sure the other teams will also drop points -- Liverpool and Chelsea (who still have to play each other at Anfield) -- in the same way we did in the last games.
“We have 15 more points to play for and we will try to win the most amount of points.
“Then, at the end of the season, we will see who has the title.”
Pellegrini was speaking ahead of Monday's home clash with West Bromwich Albion, with City still sweating on the fitness of David Silva.
Both Silva and winger Jesus Navas didn't feature against Sunderland and Pellegrini expressed his hope after the game that the former's ankle problem would not sideline him from Monday's match as well.
On Friday, the manager also confirmed that Navas had been out due to an ankle complaint of his own, with Pellegrini having already ruled out midfielder Yaya Toure for a fortnight with a leg injury.
“We continue with the same situation with Yaya Toure, David Silva and Jesus Navas,” said Pellegrini. “The three of them are injured for the moment.
“Yaya is improving but it is a muscle injury, so it is difficult for him (to return) so soon.”– AFP