LONDON (Reuters) - Manuel Pellegrini insists he feels no pressure to keep his job as Manchester City manager but that will not stop speculation that his tenure will end this season following their elimination from the Champions League on Wednesday.
City lost 1-0 at Barcelona who won their round of 16 tie 3-1 on aggregate to knock the Premier League champions out of the competition at the same stage for the second successive season.
Barcelona would have won by a far bigger margin on Wednesday if City keeper Joe Hart had not been in superb form.
But despite what was in essence a comprehensive beating, Pellegrini maintained his stance that circumstances conspired against City and that he does not feel under any immediate threat.
After saying talks about his future would take place at the end of the season, whether City retain their Premier League title or not, he said: "Lionel Messi was imperious - at the moment, we have to accept Barcelona are better.
"It is not a failure, it is a disappointment. We have been unlucky to play Barcelona for two years in a row. We have had a restriction on the number of players we can use in the Champions League.
"It is very difficult to beat Barcelona but the statistics I don't care about. We cannot analyse what we will do next season because it is too soon after this result."
Said City captain Vincent Kompany: "The reality is that they were the better team and there is no shame in admitting that. There is a big big difference between Barcelona, and I would mention Bayern Munich, and the rest."