Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has refuted claims that Yaya Toure would be leaving the club in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s encounter with QPR.
Their opponents are 19th in the Premier League, and have lost three of their last four league games, whereas the Blues sit third in the Premier League, six points off leaders Chelsea, despite some poor results already this season.
Toure has come in for widespread criticism after a number of lacklustre displays, culminating in a straight red card for a petulant shove against CSKA Moscow.
“There must be a lot of reports saying that Yaya will be sold,” said Pellegrini. “Maybe all the other teams want Manchester City to be a weaker team.
“He is a very important player. Maybe the news comes from other teams.”
Pellegrini’s somewhat flippant answer was reflective of a man who was a sea of calm among the media storm that City’s stuttering start has ignited.
“I never feel pressure,” said the 61-year-old. “In my career I have had 25 years managing teams and the only pressure I feel is my own pressure to return to play in the way I like this team to play, to play attractive football and be a winning team.”
City will be without captain Vincent Kompany, as well as medium-term injuries Aleksander Kolarov and David Silva, but the Chilean manager was keen to emphasise that physical recovery was the key to beating QPR.
“It’s very important to win on Saturday because it’s difficult to recover physically and mentally in only 72 hours. We hope that we have managed that though,” he said.
Asked whether he felt his side were progressing as a team in the Premier League, Pellegrini was quick to emphasise that we are only 10 games into the season.
“It is difficult to progress in the Premier League when you won the title last year but we try to continue fighting for the title,” he said.
“I don’t know if you draw conclusions when you have to play 28 games more. It is a lot of games and we are just in November.”
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.