Pellegrini says Jovetic's time has come
MANCHESTER, England -- Manuel Pellegrini is convinced Manchester City will finally see "the real Stevan Jovetic" after the Montenegro striker endured an injury-hit first season at the Etihad Stadium.
Jovetic was limited to two league starts in an interrupted debut campaign in England after joining City from Fiorentina for 22 million pounds in 2013.
But he is set to equal that tally already by keeping his place for City's home game against Liverpool on Monday.
And Pellegrini is convinced the Premier League champions will see the best of the 24-year-old, who scored six goals for the club next season.
He said in a news conference: "He is a very good finisher and we will see the real Stefan Jovetic this season.
"He has a lot of movement and if you review what happened last season every time he went from the bench on the pitch he always scored."
Jovetic was the outstanding player in City's preseason campaign and both Pellegrini and the forward have been adamant he will not return to Serie A, despite interest from Inter Milan.
And the Chilean added: "I think Stevan is playing very well. He is in a very good moment with us and I hope he will continue in the same way because he is a very important and very good player for us."
City face Liverpool on Monday in a meeting of the two clubs who finished first and second in the title race last season.
The Merseysiders were the favourites to win the league when they beat City 3-2 at Anfield in April but Pellegrini insisted he always expected Brendan Rodgers' team to drop points in the run-in.
He explained: "I was not surprised because I was absolutely convinced when I said the words that I said -- 'careful it's not finished because they have to play five games more' -- and the pressure when you are at the top of the table is increasing after every game.
"The most important thing for us was not to think about Liverpool but think about what we had to do and we had to win the five games and we did. That's why it was not as surprise. The surprise was that we lost the game 3-2 because we played better.
"I can't talk about what happened with Liverpool at that moment but from my experience when you are finishing the season the pressure increases every week for every team, not only for Liverpool."