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Ben Arfa experiment fails at Hull

Hull City
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Pellegrini: City will improve in 2014

Manuel Pellegrini believes his toughest times as Manchester City manager are behind him and predicted his side will get better in the second half of the season.

Manuel Pellegrini has yet to win a major trophy since leaving South America.
Manuel Pellegrini left Malaga to take charge of Man City last summer.

Curtis: City sitting pretty

The Chilean reached the mid-way point of his debut campaign in England happy with the progress he has made after steering City into the knockout stages of the Champions League, the last-four of the Capital One Cup and second place in the Premier League.

And he said: "The time has gone fast. Six months is a lot of time but it has felt very short for me. I'm learning each day but after six months I am very settled in England. I am very happy and I am at a very good club.

"I always feel that the first months are the most difficult in a new job. So to be in the position we are in now is a very good start for us.

"We will continue learning. It's very important for all the players to always be improving. It must be better, the second half, than the first. But then the first half was already very good. We played nine games in December: we won eight and drew just one. In the Premier League from the last seven we won six. It is normal to improve though."

Pellegrini said he hopes to establish City as the dominant club in England but believes it will be tough because of the number of powerful rivals.

The 60-year-old has long insisted that five or six teams are potential champions this season and feels it will not be easy to prove consistently better than them.

He said: "We must try at least, yes. But it's very difficult to be dominant over here. Chelsea are a very strong team, Manchester United and Arsenal and Tottenham are strong teams. So are Liverpool. So it's difficult."

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