Manchester City v West Brom: Manuel Pellegrini backs Pepe Mel to succeed in England

 

The Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has backed his West Bromwich Albion counterpart Pepe Mel to be a success in English football.

The pair know each other well, with both men having begun their Premier League careers this season after lengthy stints working in Spain. Mel, appointed as Albion head coach in January, has made something of a slow start, where he failed to oversee a West Bromwich win until his eighth game in charge, while the club continue to struggle in the bottom end of the table.

There have been notable signs of improvement of late, with that victory, a 2-1 win at Swansea, one of two in West Bromwich’s last five matches – the other a 1-0 win at Norwich – a sequence in which they have only been beaten once. While Mel himself has admitted he is unsure about the chances of him still being in the job next season, Pellegrini is confident the Spaniard will do well in England.

Speaking before tonight’s match between City and West Bromwich at the Etihad Stadium, the Chilean said of Mel: “I think he is a very good manager. He is a manager that wants his teams to play attractive football – he always tries to make it so that his team will play with a lot of possession of the ball and make a very offensive game.”

Asked if he could see Mel being successful in English football, Pellegrini replied: “Yes, of course, because I repeat – I think he is a very good manager and he worked very well in Spain. I am sure that here in England when he settles, he will be a very good manager also.”

In contrast to Mel, Pellegrini, brought in at City as successor to Roberto Mancini last summer, has been involved in the battle at the top end of the league this season and his side’s title challenge has suffered some significant blows over the last few days.

They go into tonight’s contest off the back of a 2-2 home draw with rock-bottom Sunderland, which followed a 3-2 loss at league leaders Liverpool, now nine points clear of City, albeit with Pellegrini’s men having played two games less. Reflecting on the shock result against Sunderland, the 60-year-old has reiterated that relegation-threatened clubs like  the Wearsiders and 16th-placed West Bromwich make for particularly tricky opponents.

Mel, meanwhile, has made it clear he and his players have taken great encouragement from Sunderland’s exploits at the Etihad Stadium ahead of their own trip to the ground.

But Pellegrini has also stressed that each assignment in the Premier League is different, and is eager to see his side bounce back from the disappointment of that previous outing.

He said: “I think all the games are different. It would be very easy to just focus on what has happened in other games. The performance in every game is very important and I hope we are going to improve our performance against West Brom.”

City playmaker David Silva’s ankle problem makes him a doubt for the match.

Pellegrini has revealed winger Jesus Navas has also been struggling with an ankle problem, and tonight’s game will come too soon for midfielder Yaya Touré to return after his leg injury. It was suggested earlier this week that the injury could keep him out for up to a fortnight.

Defender Matija Nastasic, out of action since February because of a knee complaint, remains unavailable.

Odds: Home 1-5 Draw 7-1 Away 15-1

Kick-off Tonight, 8pm (Sky Sports 1; highlights Sky Sports 1, 1am)

Team news

David Silva and Jesus Navas (both ankle) remain doubts for Manchester City, with Yaya Touré (leg) missing. West Bromwich have doubts over Jonas Olsson (Achilles) and James Morrison (ankle), while midfielder Scott Sinclair is ineligible against his parent side.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
arts + entsBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices