Win­ning is the only way out of this slump says Pel­le­grini

Wilmslow Express - - SPORT -

MANUEL Pel­le­grini knows how City can im­prove – win.

The Blues are on an aw­ful run in 2015, hav­ing been neck-and-neck with Chelsea on New Year’s Day.

Six­teen games and just five wins later, City now find them­selves fight­ing for a top-four fin­ish.

Af­ter los­ing his first Manch­ester derby, Pel­le­grini was not in the mood to ex­plain or elab­o­rate when asked what the Blues need to do to re­turn to form.

“Win­ning. That is the only way,” said the manager, who also dis­missed talk of his fu­ture as “not im­por­tant”.

Of­fered the chance to give the City faith­ful a mes­sage, he called on sup­port­ers to stick with the team.

“I think the fans of City are very im­por­tant fans,” he said. “Maybe we are not in a good mo­ment but I am sure they will con­tinue sup­port­ing this group.

“We had a whole year in sec­ond place. We had a bad 2015 and a very bad week.

“We have to all to­gether play the next six games to re­cover our po­si­tion.

“We have 18 points more to play for, so we must try not to make it a dra­matic mo­ment.

“We now have two games at home, we must try to re­cover from this de­feat.

“We must try to win the next game.”

It could have been so dif­fer­ent for City. Ser­gio Aguero opened the scor­ing in­side 10 min­utes, and Je­sus Navas had missed a chance be­fore then. But Pel­le­grini ac­knowl­edged that his side had paid the price for drop­ping their stan­dards af­ter a blis­ter­ing first 20 min­utes, and ad­mit­ted the team had played a part in their own down­fall.

He also took time to de­fend Yaya Toure, who came in for crit­i­cism from fans and pun­dits.

“(Marouane) Fel­laini is in a good mo­ment but Yaya marked him very well in the first half,” he said. “Af­ter that we had to take more risks and they had space – fi­nally they won the game.

“I don’t think it was a prob­lem of pace or the United team – it was our own mis­takes on at least two goals.

“We had a lot of chances at the start of the game to score an­other goal.”

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