Pellegrini won't change to win ugly in Europe

Manuel Pellegrini supervising a Manchester City training session yesterday. The Chilean manager will have influential midfielder Yaya Toure back in the squad for today's clash with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Manuel Pellegrini supervising a Manchester City training session yesterday. The Chilean manager will have influential midfielder Yaya Toure back in the squad for today's clash with Borussia Moenchengladbach.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has vowed to stick to his attacking principles, casting doubt over taking a less gung-ho approach in Europe.

City entertain a revitalised Borussia Moenchengladbach today looking for a restorative victory that could yet yield a first-place finish in Champions League Group D.

City conceded top spot in the Premier League following a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, but Pellegrini insisted that his side will not try to grind out a result by playing ugly football.

"I think in the way this team play I will not change because I think we are the most successful team here this season," he said yesterday.

"We are always the highest scoring team (leaders Leicester City are actually currently the Premier League top scorers with 32 goals, compared to City's 30), and it is

not us to play with eight or nine players in our box. We must continue not to change the style and not to make so many mistakes."

The Chilean added that midfielder Yaya Toure is fit and in the squad for the Moenchengladbach clash.

But he hinted that he is unlikely to make many changes to the side who featured at the Britannia Stadium even though City are already through to the last 16.

Several other senior players are still missing including captain Vincent Kompany, defenders Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta, midfielders Fernando and Samir Nasri and striker Sergio Aguero.

"We don't have many players to rest tomorrow," said Pellegrini. "Maybe there will just be two or three changes."

For the past two seasons, City have gone through as runners-up and found themselves drawn against seeded Barcelona, who knocked them out each time.

Pellegrini was criticised last season for his insistence on playing with two strikers against Luis Enrique's men - a move that left City over-run in midfield.

And, while the City manager has employed a lone striker for the majority of this campaign, he reiterated that his side will not change to a more defensive style to cut down on the number of goals conceded.

City's defence have recorded just two clean sheets in the last 18 matches. And they must now contend with a Moenchengladbach team revelling in the feat of becoming the first team to defeat Bayern Munich in this season's Bundesliga.

Saturday's 3-1 win at home to Pep Guardiola's Bayern extended their unbeaten run under new manager Andre Schubert to 10 league games.

City must win and hope that group leaders Juventus lose away to Sevilla if they are to win the group and avoid Europe's big guns.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MANCHESTER CITY V BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH

Singtel TV Ch111 & StarHub Ch202, tomorrow 3.45am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'Pellegrini won't change to win ugly in Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe