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City boss plays down Mourinho feud

Updated: 2013-10-27 08:12
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)


Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini says he has no intention of igniting a feud with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ahead of the teams' Premier League showdown on Sunday.

The pair previously crossed swords in Spain, with Mourinho denigrating the Chilean's record with Real Madrid after succeeding him at the Bernabeu in 2010.

Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge will be their first encounter in English soccer, but Pellegrini says he does not wish to revisit old disagreements.

"I never get involved in the moment and I will not get involved now," he said during Friday's pre-match media conference.

"I don't know him. He worked in Spain, I worked in another club. We played, Real Madrid against Malaga, nothing more. I don't have any complaint about him."

Both managers' current teams are riding high in the Premier League.

Chelsea climbed to second with a 4-1 win over Cardiff City last weekend, while City stole into the top four by winning 3-1 at West Ham United.

They each carried their good form into the Champions League in mid-week, Chelsea winning 3-0 at main Group E rival Schalke and City beating CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the Russian capital.

City boss plays down Mourinho feud

City's victory was however scarred by racist chanting aimed at midfielder Yaya Toure, for which the Russian club has been charged by European governing body UEFA.

Toure has been in commanding form for City this season, scoring four goals in eight league games, and Mourinho has described the powerful Ivorian as a "fantastic player".

"He gives them everything," the Portuguese said. "Leadership, defensive work, attacking work, goals, set-plays, physicality, experience."

The trip to west London will be City's third match in a run of four consecutive away games in all competitions, but midfielder Samir Nasri says it can take heart from its recent performances on the road.

"Winning at West Ham and CSKA means we will go into this game with a lot more confidence," the Frenchman told the club's website.

"It was important we started winning away in the Premier League but we know Chelsea won't be an easy game.

"I don't know him. He worked in Spain, I worked in another club. We played Real Madrid against Malaga, nothing more. I don't have any complaint about him. think they are more complete than they were last season. They are always a threat, especially on their own pitch and with Jose Mourinho returning, that's even more the case, so we will have to be at our best if we are to get a good result."

The visiting side will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who is still not ready to return following a thigh problem, but Pellegrini says Jack Rodwell could feature after overcoming a hamstring complaint.

Mourinho can once again call on leftback Ashley Cole, who has not played since sustaining a rib injury in a 3-1 win againsty Norwich City on Oct 6. The England international will return in place of Cesar Azpilicueta, who filled in at leftback against Schalke.

Mourinho must also choose between Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o to lead the attack, with both players having found the net in their most recent outings.

Eto'o registered his first Chelsea goal and laid on an assist in the victory over Cardiff while Torres found the net twice in an eye-catching display against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

Eden Hazard has also impressed, scoring twice against Cardiff and then sealing the win over Schalke with the third goal, and he credits Mourinho with the team's current form.

"Jose has brought his experience," the Belgian attacker told Chelsea's website.

"He is a coach who helps us players. He impresses me with how much he knows. It's not bad, the amount of things that he has won before!

"At the moment it's going well. I hope he will keep on winning and we can win together, as a group."

City boss plays down Mourinho feud

(China Daily 10/27/2013 page7)

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