Football: Pellegrini expects more from Manchester City
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes there is much more to come from his side after their second successive home win in the Premier League.
After securing a 4-0 win over Newcastle in their first match, City stumbled to a 3-2 defeat at Cardiff, before making hard work of a 2-0 victory against Hull at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
City had been punished for sloppy defending against Cardiff, but it was their forward line that spluttered against Hull as they struggled to break the newly-promoted side down until the second half when substitute Alvaro Negredo headed home.
And Pellegrini acknowledged the last two games have shown him the Premier League is going to be anything but straightforward.
"Everyone told me last week, when we lost a game with two set pieces, that now I must know what the Premier league is like," he said.
"I know the Premier League is very difficult every match and you must play 100 per cent every week.
"Hull are a good team but to win 2-0 is a good score and we can't win 4-0 or 5-0 without any problems.
"That's the reality of the Premier League. It's no surprise. I know what the Premier League is. It's important to get the three points.
"I never expected all the games would be the same as Newcastle. One day you are very clever in the last 25 metres and we have the quality to do it but I never expected it would always be like against Newcastle."
City had to wait until midway through the second half for Negredo to make the breakthrough against Hull, with the Spain striker heading in from Pablo Zabaleta's cross.
Pellegrini's side made the game safe when Yaya Toure curled in a free-kick from 20 yards in the final minute.
Negredo's strike was his second since making the £20 million move (S$39.5 million) from Sevilla in the summer but he has not started for the club yet.
Pellegrini, who is set to sign Atletico Madrid's Argentina defender Michael Demichelis, is confident Negredo will be able to make a significant impact over the course of the season.
"I expect from Alvaro Negredo exactly what we are seeing every time he plays," Pellegrini said.
"He played some minutes the first time against Newcastle, he scored a legal goal but it was not valid.
"The second game he played some minutes and also scored a goal and he played 45 minutes and scored one goal more.
"With Alvaro and Edin (Dzeko) we have two very good strikers and we need both of them.
"During August we played just three matches, the weekends only. When we return after the international break, we have to play eight matches every month so everyone that has a good possibility will have a chance to start.
"It's important because we are going to rotate a lot." Hull manager Steve Bruce admits that signing a striker is a major priority for him before Monday's transfer deadline.
The Tigers have been linked with Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner, who played under Bruce in loan spells at Birmingham and Sunderland, but he accepts that adding the right player will be difficult.
Bruce, whose side have scored once in their opening three matches, said: "It would be easy to say we need a striker but the ones that will make a difference will they come? Can we afford them and who is out there who can get 12-15 goals? "But we will keep working at it and put an end to this madness.
"I've had (Bendtner) twice before and he did very well at Birmingham and Sunderland but can we get him to come to us and can we afford him?"