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Spurs poised to finish above Arsenal

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Pellegrini wants free-scoring Toure

Manuel Pellegrini has urged Yaya Toure to break through the 20-goal barrier for the first time in his career.

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The midfielder, who was named African Footballer of the Year for the third time on Thursday, is in the most prolific season of his career.

Toure, whose previous highest goal tally was 10 in 2010-11, scored for the 13th time in the current campaign in Manchester City’s 6-0 Capital One Cup win over West Ham on Wednesday.

It prompted questions if the 30-year-old former Barcelona player can carry on finding the net and reach 20 goals in a season.

Pellegrini replied: "It will be very good if he can. I don't see why he cannot continue scoring.”

The Chilean, who won the manager of the month award for December, believes Toure is proving more potent because he has been liberated to go forward.

He added: “He has a lot of goals because he is playing free, he's arriving in the other box and he's playing very well.”

City are the Premier League’s top scorers with 57 goals and have struck 92 times in all competitions.

And former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga manager Pellegrini is adamant he has always been this attack-minded.

He explained: “I've been the same my whole career. A lot of managers can manage the way they want. There is not just one way to do it.

“Maybe other managers would see their team score one goal and then prefer to go back and counter attack, then try to score the second goal. A lot of those managers are the best managers at the moment.

“But for me it's very important to continue the way I play."

Pellegrini believes early-season away defeats were justified because, rather than adopting a pragmatic approach, his players learned to play his attacking style.

He said: “I remember when we lost at Cardiff and Aston Villa I wanted them to continue in the same style. The only way is to have a style of football.

“We could have had a better chance if we'd played against Cardiff and Aston Villa with 10 players behind the ball.

“But I was sure in that moment it was impossible to improve in that way. We lost but for the players it was important to understand we were not going to change: we lost for a set-piece or a mistake.  I think it was more important to build the way we play."


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