Manuel Pellegrini has thanked the Manchester City fans who sang songs protesting about his imminent appointment on their last trip to Wembley for the support they have given him since he took over at the Etihad Stadium.
The Chilean will win his first trophy as City manager if they beat Sunderland in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final and he believes it would be a major achievement for him to win silverware in his debut year in England.
But when City visited the national stadium for May’s FA Cup final defeat to Wigan, supporters, who did not want Roberto Mancini to be sacked, chorused “you can stick your Pellegrini up your a---”.
Asked what had changed in the subsequent 10 months, Pellegrini replied: “Well I hope at least the songs! I know what happened last year, I think Mancini deserved the support of the fans because he won the title here for the first time in 44 years.
“Everyone knows how passionate Manchester City fans are so I give my congratulations to their support, but also I felt that from the moment I arrived here they accepted what the club did and I think they are very happy with the team this year, the way we play and to be again in another final.”
Not since Jose Mourinho came to England in 2004 and won the League Cup in his maiden season has a foreign manager won the first available trophy.
And Pellegrini said: “It would be a big achievement, because it's not easy when you've just arrived from another league and you don't know a lot about the players, about the club, about the other teams. I think it's always important for a manager to have the support of a title."
City are still in four competitions and Pellegrini feels that winning the Capital One Cup could help them secure other honours this season.
He added: “The feeling if you lose is not the same as if you win the game. Also I think it's very important for the team to have a winning mentality and to have an ambitious mentality. Both of those things start from winning the Capital One Cup, and then trying to win other titles.”