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Pellegrini puts points above performance

ESPN staff
August 31, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Alvaro Negredo set Manchester City on their way to victory against Hull © AP
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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini felt his team had done their job after claiming a laboured 2-0 win over promoted Hull in the Premier League.

After suffering a shock loss at Cardiff last week, City were again troubled by one of the competition's newcomers but eventually ground out victory with two second-half goals.

Alvaro Negredo - strongly linked with Hull four years ago - came off the bench to break the deadlock in the 64th minute and Yaya Toure made the result certain with a late free-kick.

City failed to reproduce the brilliance of their season-opening demolition of Newcastle but Pellegrini was happy enough with the result.

He said: "First of all, the most important [thing] is the points. In our friendly matches in pre-season we tried to work on different things, but when we start the Premier League the most important thing is to win the three points.

"I am very happy with the win but of course I think we must improve. We had too many difficulties in the first half [in creating chances] to shoot at the Hull goal. They defended very well and without the movement, we need to try to be a dangerous team.

"Everyone told me last week [after] we lost a game to two set-pieces that I now know the Premier League. But I know the Premier League is very difficult every match. You must concentrate and play 100% to beat any team. I am concerned but 2-0 is a good score. We can't win every game 4-0 or 5-0. The Premier League is tough."

Negredo, signed from Sevilla for £20 million, has made a positive impression, having a goal disallowed against Newcastle and then finding the target at Cardiff before his effort against Hull.

Pellegrini said: "I expect from Alvaro Negredo exactly what we are seeing every time he plays. I know how good a striker he is. With Alvaro and Edin [Dzeko] we have two very good strikers and we need both of them."

Hull boss Steve Bruce was pleased with his side's resilient display but was also left to rue the Tigers' bad luck.

Sone Aluko squandered a glorious chance to open the scoring in the early stages and Danny Graham had a good strike ruled out for offside.

Bruce said: "We are going to be rightly disappointed with the scoreline but I am immensely pleased with the way we played and the way we took them on. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

"Our Achilles heel, even last year in the Championship, was can we score enough. You can see why we have come out of the Championship with the football we have played, but we need to score.

"We have had a big chance. Sone would have capped a wonderful performance from him if he stuck it away. Then the linesman gave an offside, which is right, but it was two inches offside, which I thought these days is supposed to go with the attacker. When you realised how close it is, it is a big call. You need that little bit of luck when you come here but it wasn't to be."

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