Manchester City v West Ham: Manuel Pellegrini refuses to discuss trophies ahead of Capital One Cup semi-final
His City side entertain struggling West Ham tonight
Wednesday 08 January 2014
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is not even entertaining thoughts that a first trophy could be within his grasp.
Pellegrini's side are firm favourites to secure a place in the Capital One Cup final as they host struggling West Ham in the first leg of their last-four tie tonight.
Victory in the competition would get Pellegrini off to a fine start having been charged with the task of winning five trophies in as many seasons when appointed last summer.
This season offers many opportunities with City also well placed in the Premier League and still in both the Champions League and FA Cup, but Pellegrini refuses to look too far ahead.
He said: "I think it is important for the club, for the team, for everyone, to play a semi-final against West Ham and try to win.
"After we beat West Ham we can talk about the final at Wembley, but we have two steps more to beat West Ham here and then in London.
"I repeat, after we finish the semi-final, we can talk about the trophy."
With a formidable home record behind them and some outstanding goalscoring form, City are capable of putting the game beyond the beleaguered Hammers in the first leg.
But Pellegrini, whose side have scored 86 goals this season, said: "We are not thinking about that. We are thinking first to win.
"We have the second leg to play and in football it is never finished.
"We are thinking about winning the two games. We must win here and then see what we can do away."
Pellegrini has given no indication which goalkeeper will start.
Costel Pantilimon, who is now once again second choice to Joe Hart, returned for last weekend's FA Cup draw at Blackburn but was at fault for Rovers' equaliser.
Pellegrini says that error will not affect his decision.
He said: "I analysed the performance with the players and we will see which goalkeeper will start.
"I don't know exactly how many changes but we will make some."
Pantilimon had a run in the side which included seven Premier League games before Hart was restored just before Christmas.
Pellegrini claims many factors influence his selection.
He said: "I don't think that because one player makes a mistake he must lose his place.
"I have a lot of different things for why I take the decision which one will play."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Suarez
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians