MCF / NEWS
Pellegrini: “I’m pleased with the team’s performance”
Málaga CF coach, Manuel Pellegrini, held a press conference following the match against Sevilla FC at La Rosaleda.
The coach is happy with the players’ performance in this Andalucían derby: “I’m pleased with the team’s performance tonight, in what was a difficult match against a tough rival, as Sevilla always are. It was also a very intense local derby from the start. We came from a midweek match in which we were left with nine men on the pitch, which obviously led to physical over-exertion for the other players. We also suffered significant injuries during this game, so I think the team responded very well, in terms of hard work and intensity. Both teams created equal goal opportunities, but overall I’m happy with our performance tonight.”
Pellegrini considers qualification for European positions to be extremely hard-fought, but believes the ‘Malaguistas’ can do it: “There’s normally only a minimal difference in points between teams that qualify for the Champions and Europa League, and those that miss out. However I think we’ve got a significant advantage over direct rivals such as Sevilla, Rayo and Getafe, by six or seven points, with nine left in play for them, so we’re going to have to secure our qualification in our next home match against Deportivo. At this stage in the competition, gaining a point against a direct rival is crucial.”
The dramatic elimination against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League is one of the main reasons the season appears extra-long for the team, although the coach believes they will qualify for the Europa League during the match against Deportivo de la Coruña at La Rosaleda in two weeks’ time: “The season really does seem particularly long this time around, as the way we were knocked out of the Champions was very traumatic for the team. We were all completely focused on getting as far as we could in our debut performance in the competition. We absolutely deserved a place in the semi-finals, and getting over a setback as big as that was extremely hard for us. However, qualifying for Europe against next season has kept the team’s spirits up, and we’re all determined to secure qualification to the Europa League in out next home game against Deportivo.”
Regarding his future and the rumours surrounding his departure and involvement with other teams, Manuel Pellegrini has a blunt reply: “I categorically deny that I am the new Manchester City coach, nothing has been signed and no agreement reached. I’ve been fortunate enough, and very proud, that every year the big Clubs are interested in me. I have an agreement with Málaga not to talk to anyone and nothing has been agreed with any other outfit. I hope the future of this Club will become somewhat clearer in the next few days.”