London: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident that winning the League Cup will give his team the required morale boost to reignite their sagging campaign in the English Premier League (EPL).
City won the League Cup by defeating Liverpool by penalties at the iconic Wembley Stadium here on Sunday evening after the teams were locked 1-1 at the end of extra time. City are not faring so well in the EPL however, as they sit at the fourth place with 47 points from 26 matches, nine points behind leaders Leicester City who have emerged as this year’s surprise package.
“It is important to continue to trust what we are doing. There are 36 points to play for in the Premier League and although the challenge is big, it is not impossible. We also made a huge step the other day in the Champions League by winning in Kiev. So I am very happy,” Pellegrini told the local media after the final.
“I am not talking about me, I am talking about the club. We have to continue. We are not giving up on the Premier League or the Champions League.”
Pellegrini who is into his final season with the former EPL champions, will be replaced by current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola at the end of the season. The Chilean collected the third trophy of his three-year stint at the Ettihad Stadium after stand-in goalkeeper Willy Caballero pulled off three saves in the penalty shootout.
Pellegrini believes that Sunday’s triumph has given him a genuine chance to sign off his final season in Manchester with a treble by clinching the EPL and Champions League as well.
City, who were drawn with Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League pre-quarterfinals, are favourites to advance to the next stage after a 3-1 win in the first leg at home.
“I’m very happy, not because it is my final season but for a lot of reasons. I’m happy for the performance of the team against a very difficult side in Liverpool, everyone remembers the game we lost at the Etihad. I’m happy for Willy Cabellero because I think he deserved his moment, I’m happy to have won a title in February, that is very important for the trust of the team and I’m happy for Joe Hart who showed he is not only a very good goalkeeper but a very good person by always supporting Willy and helping him in the dressing room. And personally I am happy because I would rather lose a final than lose my word,” Pellegrini said.
“I don’t know about you but my word is more important than football. The decision I took last week at Chelsea was very important for winning this trophy tonight and winning in Kiev on Wednesday.”