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Pellegrini - I don't fear the sack at Man City

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pellegrini in the last chance saloon at City?
Pellegrini in the last chance saloon at City?

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini may be effectively one game away from the sack, but he has insisted he is not feeling the pressure ahead of his side's Champions League showdown with Barcelona.

Pellegrini's future at City in in doubt after a run of poor results culminated with a surprise 1-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday, which all-but ended his side's hopes of defending the Premier League title.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has been strongly linked with a move to City, but Pellegrini is convinced he can turn things around at City as he looks to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.

"First of all I respect all opinions but I don't think my seat is in danger, but even if it was I wouldn't do anything differently," said Pellegrini.

"I want to say there's no such strange atmosphere at Manchester City. We're second in the Premier League, still playing strong and are going to fight to prove it tomorrow.

"It is a good opportunity for our team and the only way to prove it is to beat one of the biggest teams in Europe and we have that chance tomorrow."

Pellegrini was joined at the pre-match press conference by key midfielder and former Barcelona player Yaya Toure, who missed the first leg through suspension.

Toure was also asked about Pellegrini's future but chose to focus on the collective responsibility of everyone involved in the team.

"I think football is like that," said Toure, when asked about the rumours concerning Pellegrini.

"Last year was brilliant, everyone was saying Manchester City are a top team in Europe, but all of a sudden we have some problems and we're the worst team in the world. We can deal with that.

"We all know what we have to do, the owners have spent a lot of money to make this one of the top clubs in Europe. We have had some difficulties but we are working hard.

"It's not the first time we have been in this situation. We'll try to do it for the fans and the club and the people who continue to help us."

Pellegrini, who has managed three clubs in Spain, was asked some awkward questions by the Catalan press at a busy press conference in the team's beachside hotel.

But he took them all in his stride and even laughed at one convoluted query about whether he felt Barcelona were better because they responded more to Luis Enrique than City do to him.

"You don't know the kind of confidence my players have in me," said Pellegrini, who oversaw two trophy successes last season.

"You could have asked the question the other way round if we were talking two months ago. All teams go through different moments and we will try to do our best with dedication and hard work."