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Pellegrini plans era of domination

ESPN staff
May 12, 2014 « Van Gaal: I'll make history at United | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Pellegrini: We never gave up

Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on an era of dominance in English football after leading Manchester City to the Premier League title at the first attempt.

City went into the final day needing just a point against West Ham to secure a second title in three years. They never needed to get out of third gear as they cruised to a 2-0 victory at the Etihad.

And while Pellegrini enjoyed his moment after becoming the first non-European manager to lift the Premier League trophy, the Chilean said he will not let his players rest on their laurels and vowed to drive them on to more success in England and the Champions League.

Two's Kompany

Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy for the second time in three years © Getty Images
  • Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, who scored the second goal against West Ham on Sunday, agrees with his Manuel Pellegrini that the club must push on for more trophies.
  • He said: "We are not a team that wins trophies every now and again. If you want to be a big club this must be one of so many."
  • Pellegrini said of Kompany: "He had a difficult time after Liverpool, but I think that today he recovered and he was one of our best players over the season."

"Big teams cannot be satisfied with one title," he said. "This club and players deserve more titles.

"It is very important to celebrate but we will start working for the next season on Tuesday. Now that we have won the title we are going to do a balance of the year, and look at the positive and negative things and where we can improve the squad.

"As a big team, that is the way we must continue thinking. It was a beautiful season but you always need to continue winning and continue improving. We will start working as soon as possible to be the strongest team next year."

City won the League Cup at the beginning of March with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at Wembley, and were still in contention for four trophies before defeats to Wigan in the FA Cup and Barcelona in the Champions League.

But while the unprecedented quadruple may have alluded them, Pellegrini feels his side's comeback to pip Liverpool to the title would not have happened if they had remained in all four competitions.

He added: "It has been a brilliant season. We were involved in all four competitions for longer than any other English team, and we won two of them as well so I am very happy.

"It was a disappointment to go out of Europe when we did and the Wigan defeat was tough to bear.

"But when you consider that we played 14 or 15 games more than Liverpool in the entire season then maybe if we had gone further than we did, I would not be sitting here speaking about winning the Premier League."

Pellegrini revealed there were "two key moments in the season" that led City to the title.

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He said: "One of them was at the beginning when we had just four points from our first six away games. That is not too many points for a team that wants to win the title.

"At that moment, I spoke to the players and they said they believed in the way we were working, and that we should continue playing in the same way.

"I felt that too, because I did not think we had deserved to lose those points. From that moment until the end of the season I think we are the team that has taken more points playing away, so it was very important to carry on playing that way.

"The second moment was after the Liverpool game, when we did not deserve to lose 3-2.

"We never gave up hope that Liverpool could also lose points. We struggled in a difficult game against Sunderland straight afterwards when we could only draw, so it was not the best week but the team was never resigned to losing and we won our last five games to show our character."

Samir Nasri, who opened the scoring against West Ham with a superb long-range strike and has been a key player all season for City, believes the club need to keep augmenting their already impressive - and expensively-assembled - squad.

"If we keep the same squad and add one or two good players, I don't see why we can't repeat this kind of thing," he said. "I have been here three years and won four trophies. Every year since I came we have finished first or second, so over those three years we have been the best team in England - no doubt about it. It is important that next year we confirm that.

"We scored 102 goals in the league, over 150 goals (156) in all competitions. It is attractive football, offensive football, and I think the manager and the players deserve this trophy.'

"The title this year has a different taste to what happened two years ago - I played a part then, but not like this year. I did great because I had a great manager behind me, who trusted me and I tried to give it back to him on the pitch.''

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