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Pellegrini vows to stay on the offensive against Chelsea

Feb 15, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Even the calm, collected Pellegrini has trouble keeping his emotions in when he faces off with Jose Mourinho. Getty Images

It’s been less than two weeks since Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad, shattering the hosts’ perfect home record in the Premier League. But despite that defeat, which prevented City from moving top in the league, manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he will not change his approach when the Blues visit for the FA Cup tie on Saturday.

“I am absolutely sure that in the previous game it was not a problem with tactics,” said Pellegrini. “The squad had a lot of changes and we had three or four clear chances before they scored. If we’d scored we could have scored again. I will continue to think exactly in the same way – it’s important to score and defend well.”

Those words might cause fear in some Manchester City fans, at least, those hoping the side will remain in the running for a quadruple this season. After all, it was the tactics of José Mourinho that won out in the end, with his counter-attacking squad exposing the space left by the hosts. And then there was Pellegrini’s use of defender Martín Demichelis as a central midfielder, an experiment that anyone with eyes can agree should never be repeated.

Yet Pellegrini insists that his use of Demichelis in midfield did not weaken his side. The Chilean is also not concerned by his side, who have 115 goals in all competitions, failing to score in their last two matches. He made sure to note that if they’d scored one against Norwich City, they’d have won the match, and had they scored against Chelsea, it would’ve been a draw. Which is an interesting way of viewing a game, considering it fails to take into account what happens after City scores those hypothetical goals.

Does anything rattle Manuel Pellegrini, or is he just playing it cool, ensuring that José Mourinho has no ammunition – either tactically or verbally?