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Feb 21, 2014

Pellegrini: No regrets over Mangala

Manuel Pellegrini insists he has no regrets about his failure to sign Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala in January and declared that Martin Demichelis is vital for Manchester City.

The Argentina international, who also played for Pellegrini during his time as Malaga manager, joined City in the summer but conceded a penalty and was sent off in their 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday.

But Pellegrini, who failed in a deadline-day attempt to bring in France defender Mangala, came to Demichelis' defence by insisting that he is playing well and is forming a fine partnership with captain Vincent Kompany.

And he insisted he was only interested in signing a centre-back because he thought Joleon Lescott would leave and does not look back with disappointment to the winter window.

He said: "No, I don't regret it. We thought about that because Joleon Lescott wanted to go but Lescott is here. So with Demichelis, [Matija] Nastasic and [Vincent] Kompany we have enough [competition] for the position."

Demichelis came in for heavy criticism after the Barcelona game but Pellegrini feels the 33-year-old is a strong enough character to cope.

He added: "He has had a long career, he has a lot of years playing football for important teams like River Plate, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. He doesn't have any problem with the criticism.

"He is a very important player. He is putting very good performances for the moment. I think Vincent Kompany and him are playing well so he is a very useful player for us."

And Pellegrini felt Demichelis was excelling until his dismissal, explaining: "I think he played very well until the penalty and I think also maybe it's a fraction of a second, and he thought he arrived to the ball [when he fouled Lionel Messi]. I don't think Demichelis played a bad game."

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