Pellegrini compares underperforming star to woeful Demichelis

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has stood by Eliaquim Mangala and believes the player will come good like Martin Demichelis last season.

"The same thing happened with Martin Demichelis last year," commented Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who was quick to downplay the substandard start Eliaquim Mangala has made to his Etihad Stadium career.

Due to a dearth in quality of genuinely top-level centre backs in world football, available defenders like Mehdi Benatia and Mangala were a valued commodity in the summer market.

The Frenchman, though, has not met the desired performance-level of Premier League title chasing sides - despite recording 12 tackles and 25 clearances in his four outings in the division.

"Remember all the criticism for [Demichelis] after he just arrived in the Premier League," continued Pellegrini, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"I think Eliaquim Mangala is a young player and he has a lot of experience. I am sure we bought the centre-back that we need in him.”

He concluded: "I think it's very important to have clean sheets. As a team you play easily or you play with more trust when you don't concede any easy goal at the beginning.

"But I think we must improve in general, not just talking about the defending. We must create more chances, we must score more goals. We are working on that and I am absolutely sure we will return to be the same team we were in the most important part of last season.

"But the only way is to compare last season with this season. And I don't think we are any worse this season."

Manchester City host Newcastle United in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup this evening, with the winner progressing into the quarter final.

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