Manuel Pellegrini is looking forward to locking horns with Mauricio Pochettino once again when Manchester City travel to Southampton on Saturday.
The Chilean faced Pochettino’s Espanyol side six times as manager of Malaga in La Liga, winning on four occasions.
But despite his winning record against the Argentinean manager, Pellegrini is expecting a tough encounter at St Mary’s.
“Pochettino is a great manager and someone who I know very well. I’m sure he is going to play with a strong team,” Pellegrini said at his pre-match press conference.
“They have a young team and a young manager. But they have a lot of good players, it’s a very good side.
“We need to keep fighting for the Premier League because eight or nine teams are very close.”
City recorded their first away in the league since October at West Brom on Wednesday and Pellegrini insisted he never doubted his players’ ability to perform on the road.
“I was absolutely sure the reason why we weren’t winning away was not due to tactical problems. I am also sure that the squad has the confidence to continue playing the way we are playing,” he said.
In the light of the day’s biggest news story the 60-year-old also paid tribute former South African president Nelson Mandela, who sadly passed away last night.
“I think he was one of the most important men in the world, his impact was very important and strong and he leaves a legacy which is very important too,” Pellegrini added.
Image courtesy of Manchester City via YouTube, with thanks.