Football: Milner says Manchester City are copying playing style of Spanish side Malaga

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City midfielder James Milner has revealed manager Manuel Pellegrini is teaching his new players how to emulate the style of Spanish side Malaga.

Pellegrini left the Andalusians to take over at City during the close-season and the Chilean's first mission is to make his new team play with the same tactics he used to good effect in La Liga.

City were often criticised for their cautious play under previous boss Roberto Mancini and the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners have made it clear they want to see a more expansive game-plan this season.

But England midfielder Milner says Pellegrini, who guided Malaga to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, wants City to be more solid at the back before worrying about their attacking play.

"So far we have worked very hard, more on the defensive aspects of the game and changing how he wants us to set up as a team," Milner told City TV.

"It will take a bit of time to get everyone on the same page as to how he wants us to play and get that, but once it clicks - I think you can see the jobs he has done at his previous clubs.

"We have watched videos of his previous teams doing it to get prepared and see exactly how he wants things doing, as well as doing it on the training field.

"You see the organisation and the record Malaga had in the Champions League last year was really good defensively."

City began their pre-season preparations in South Africa and have now travelled to Hong Kong to participate in the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Pellegrini left the tour to return to Chile due to the death of his mother Silvia - with assistant managers Brian Kidd and Ruben Cousillas Fuse taking over in his absence - but is due to rejoin them on Tuesday.

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