Former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes offers warning to Manuel Pellegrini over attempting 'balancing act'

Stoke held City to a 0-0 draw at the weekend

Effectively accused by their former manager, Mark Hughes, of underestimating his Stoke City side in Saturday’s goalless draw, Manchester City hope to reap the benefit of a rotation policy in their opening Champions League tie away to Viktoria Plzen tomorrow night and then in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini  claimed after a feeble performance at the Britannia Stadium that “the Champions League is very important but not more than the Premier League”. His selection policy, leaving Edin Dzeko and Fernandinho on the bench and only introducing Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas as substitutes, suggested otherwise.

“I don’t think that worked for them, if I am perfectly honest,” Hughes (below) said with satisfaction. “I was quite encouraged by the team they picked against us and I think that was borne out in the performance of the two teams.

“That’s a balancing act Manuel Pellegrini will have to cope with. You need to know what the Premier League is like. It is unforgiving and no game is easy. You can’t really place one game above another  because you can come unstuck.”

Stoke, responding well to Hughes’s introduction of a more measured style, were always likely to be as threatening as the Czech champions and they made the best four or five chances of the match. Pellegrini knows, however, that two failures in Europe were what cost his predecessor Roberto Mancini his job and it is important City start their campaign with a win tomorrow against the weakest team in the group, which also includes Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow.

City’s James Milner, one of those brought in on Saturday who did not take his chance to impress, said: “Any team that has qualified for the group stages of the Champions League are obviously a strong team and deserve to be there. The groups in previous years have taught us not to take anything lightly.”

Champions League: eye on the opposition

Viktoria Plzen prepared for Tuesday’s opening Group D visit of Manchester City by maintaining their unbeaten start to the season on Friday.

Daniel Kolar put the Czech league leaders ahead early at third-placed Slovan Liberec but former West Ham def-ender Radoslav Kovac made it 1-1 with 12 minutes left.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain