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Pellegrini claims FA Cup tie is ´not a real game´

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claims their FA Cup tie against Chelsea on Sunday is “not a real game”. 

Pellegrini is set to field a number of City youngsters for the fifth-round clash due to a lengthy injury list, as well as prioritising Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Dynamo Kiev.

And the Argentine said he cannot blame the club’s supporters if they do not bother to turn up for a devalued match.

“I think it’s not a real game, of course… We told them [City fans] one week ago that we are going to play with a young team,” Pellegrini said. 

“If the people want to continue going to the stadium or Chelsea fans will enjoy that game, I don’t know.

“If they choose not to pay for the ticket because it is not a real game any longer I understand that too.

“We always like to put out a strong team in all competitions and my priority is always the next game. But maybe this time will be an exception.

“There are some moments when you have to make an intelligent decision about what is best for the team. Getting the team selection right for this match has given me a big problem.

“It would not have been quite so difficult had we been able to play on the Saturday.”

Pellegrini believes the FA Cup can be detrimental for club’s aiming to compete in the Champions League. 

“For me it is very difficult. All the other countries in Europe have just one cup. We have two and I have tried to support them both,” the 66-year-old added.

“But the situation eventually becomes impossible. Should we manage to stay in the FA Cup and also reach the quarter-final of the Champions League for the first time someone will have to tell me how we can fit in all the games. 

“It is impossible.”

Sun 21 Feb, 2016
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