Pellegrini puts points above birthday
Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to have a week of celebrations to mark his 60th birthday and hopes his players will give him the ideal present in the form of wins.
The Manchester City manager hopes to pick up three Premier League points against Stoke as his side gear up for the meeting with Manchester United on September 22.
He reaches a personal landmark on Monday, but believes the start of their Champions League campaign, against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic the following day, matters more.
He said: “It is not as important as Tuesday. The best way to celebrate is to win against Stoke and then next Tuesday against Plzen in the Champions League and then we have the whole week to celebrate before we play against Manchester United.”
It marks the start of a busy period for City but Pellegrini said they are relishing the pressure a crowded fixture list brings.
He added: “We have seven games in 21 days before the international break in October, after the same thing October-November and the same thing November-December. That is why we have the squad with 22 players because we have an important amount of games.
“For me and the team and the club the pressure must always be the highest pressure to have a good performances in every tournament we play, [whether it is] the Premier League, the Champions League or the Capital One Cup. The pressure is positive.”
Pellegrini is promising to give all of his squad a chance to play as he has to rotate and urged them to make the most of their opportunities.
He added: “We have to play seven games in 21 days so the most important thing is not the 11 that start, but the performance of each player in every game. All the players, if they give a high performance, have the option to play.”