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Pellegrini backs Guardiola to thrive at Man City

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Manchester City's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini waves to supporters after the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Manchester City at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on May 15, 2016. The game finished 1-1. / AFP PHOTO / GEOFF CADDICK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /

Manchester City’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini waves to supporters after the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Manchester City at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on May 15, 2016.<br />The game finished 1-1. / AFP PHOTO / GEOFF CADDICK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Manuel Pellegrini might be unsure about his own future but he is certain Pep Guardiola will be successful when he takes over as Manchester City manager.

Pellegrini’s side ground out a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday to ensure they pipped neighbours Manchester United to the Premier League’s fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth.

Pellegrini’s parting gift means his successor will be able to look forward to competing in Europe’s elite club competition when Guardiola arrives at Eastlands during the close-season following his departure from Bayern Munich.

“I don’t like to talk about what will happen in the future but I am sure that Guardiola will be a very successful manager,” Pellegrini said.

“I have not spoken to Guardiola and I don’t think I have any need to do that. He knows perfectly well what is happening at this club because he has friends here.

“Guardiola will receive a club that deserves to be in the Champions League and I am sure it will continue to improve in the future.

“I don’t think he is especially lucky because in the last five seasons this team has always been in the Champions League and it was important this continued next season.”

Pellegrini, 62, will start looking for work again following the completion of the Chilean’s mission to secure Champions League football and he can go job hunting with his head held high.

“It has been a good season because we won the League Cup and we reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League, which is not easy, for the first time,” he added.

“Maybe we did not play in the way I would have liked but the difference against Real Madrid was an own-goal.

“We have won more points and trophies than any of the other big clubs and that has to be a good cycle of three seasons here, winning three titles at the same time.

“I had just been focusing on our final game because it was very important to finish in a good way so now I will be seeing different options.

“I will start thinking about the future but I don’t want to decide just in one week. I want to look at different options. After that maybe I will take a holiday.”

– Emotion –
Pellegrini displayed a rare show of emotion at the end of the final game of his three-year spell in charge of City when he threw his jacket to visiting supporters at the Liberty Stadium.

“I felt emotional because it was a very special day to finish this cycle in the club’s history and it is not easy to leave,” Pellegrini said.

“It was a difficult day but there was also relief because it was very important to finish with the club in the Champions League places for next season.

“I have been very happy and always appreciated the support of the fans in those three seasons. I am very proud to have managed the club.

“We won the Premier League title and beat all the big teams over the last three years in terms of points and goals scored and difference of goals.

“Even when the club announced it was changing managers and everyone said many players would leave at the end of the season they still focused on this season and they deserve praise for that.”

While Pellegrini seeks fresh employment, Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin, fresh from being given an extended deal, will sit down for talks with club chairman Huw Jenkins in a bid to build on a 12th-place finish.

“I hope next season is better and less stressful but football is complicated and it is not possible to say exactly what you can do,” Guidolin said.

“But I am ready for another challenge as we need to prepare a good team for next season so I will speak with my chairman about changes.”



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