Manuel Pellegrini is a man under pressure. Manchester City are now languishing six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, having played a game more, after a surprise defeat to Burnley on Saturday.
George Boyd’s goal was enough to condemn City to a fifth league defeat of the season and all-but end any hopes they had of retaining the title they reclaimed last year.
In truth, City have not been their usual ruthless selves for a long time now. They have dropped points at home to Stoke, Hull and Burnley this season and this latest hiccup has seen them plunged into the battle for the final three places in the top four.
Pellegrini’s stubbornness is in danger of seriously damaging City’s season. He is determined to make his 4-4-2 system work and whilst he gets away with it most of the time due to the sheer class of his squad, it occasionally comes back to bite him.
Particularly in away games, Pellegrini must adapt his system to suit the situation.
Playing David Silva in behind a lone striker would have caused Burnley all sorts of problems in between their two banks of four and playing James Milner in midfield would have given Yaya Toure and Fernandinho more cover.
Although he has a plethora of striking options at his disposal, Pellegrini must learn to be more pragmatic when it comes to his tactics and team selection in the final few months.