Manchester city manager has revealed his desire to guide Manchester city to a top four finish before he leaves this summer.The manager also rejected suggestions he was prepared to risk a top-four place in the Premier League to pursue this term’s European challenge.
As fourth-placed City prepare for Sunday’s game at home to Arsenal, Pellegrini said he is still motivated for Premier League games.“I think it is very, very important to arrive to the Champions League next year. I finish my contract here but that is not a thing I am worried about. I am worried because I want to finish in the best way in this season. I think we deserve to be in the Champions League next year, as in the whole year we have been in a Champions League spot from the beginning to the end.“With continuing in the Champions League to the semi-finals, it is not easy to have your mind on both competitions but I think we did it, except in the game against Southampton [a 4-2 loss]. All the other games we won. If I was just worried about the Champions League I would change for all the games every important player. Except for the last game, because it was so important to arrive to the final and I made some changes, we put out a strong team. The last five games we won four and lost just one. It is very important for me also, so I don’t understand those kind of speculations about that.”
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City’s failure to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title and the manner of their defeat at the Bernabeu – where a 1-0 scoreline flattered Pellegrini’s men – has left a negative impression on the season. But while Pellegrini admitted expectations were higher, he said the campaign should be looked on positively.“You always feel that you can do it better, especially for me. I am disappointed not to win the Premier League this year because until February we were in our best moment to do it. But we won one title – the Capital One Cup – and I hope we are going to finish in a Champions League spot for next year. We reached the semi-finals of the Champions League; we couldn’t continue in the FA Cup. It is a season I think you can improve on, but it was not a bad season.”
Pellegrini, who was appointed in 2013, now has only two games left in charge of City and Sunday’s match with Arsenal will be his last at the Etihad Stadium. “Of course it is a very a special game because we finish at home after very intensive years,” he said. “But as a manager you must try to dominate your emotions. Of course I have feelings but don’t want to show them in an external way.”