Manuel Pellegrini insists he remains motivated for success at Manchester City despite Pep Guardiola’s forthcoming arrival as his replacement.
City return to Champions League action against Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, holding a healthy 3-1 advantage from the first leg in the Ukrainian capital.
They are not sitting so comfortably in the Premier League, with Saturday’s dispiriting 0-0 draw at struggling Norwich City leaving them nine points behind leaders Leicester City.
The Carrow Road result extended a dismal record for Pellegrini’s men of failing to win back-to-back league matches since October and they have won two and lost three of six since the club announced Bayern Munich boss Guardiola will take the managerial reins at the end of the campaign.
Pellegrini did also hoist the League Cup for the second time in three years during that period thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Liverpool at Wembley.
“For me, leaving at the end of the season or not, it’s the same responsibility [to win],” he said.
“I don’t think one thing is linked to another.”
Former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss Pellegrini has led City into the knockout stages of the Champions League for a third consecutive season, while predecessor Roberto Mancini failed in two attempts to get out of the group.
Their path to the quarter-finals has been blocked by Barcelona in each of the last two seasons, but, with an advantage he was never close to gaining in those ties, the manager does not want City to move away from their attacking instincts against Kiev.
“We’re not going to play with the score we got in Kiev, we’re just going to say it’s 0-0 and try to win the game. That’s how we approach it,” said Pellegrini, who confirmed influential midfielder Yaya Toure is fit to return from a heel problem.
“The most important thing is to know we have not qualified already. We play against a big team who know how to play this type of game. That’s the first target, then we see who we’d play in the next round. With the trust and confidence, we continue.
“When you achieve a good achievement that you couldn’t do before, it gives more experience and confidence. It was important to win the group and I’m sure this group wants to keep making new achievements.”