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Apr 15, 2014

Pellegrini stands by Kompany selection

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his side can still win the title, and need to focus on winning their remaining games.

MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini insisted he did not regret selecting his captain Vincent Kompany for Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool.

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Kompany, who had injured a knee in training on Saturday and did not look fully fit, played a part in all three Liverpool goals and Philippe Coutinho’s winner came when the Belgian sliced a clearance straight to him.

But Manchester City manager Pellegrini was adamant he did not just select the Belgian because of the size of the game and claimed the centre-back was able to play.

"He started the game because he is the captain,” he said at a news conference. “He proved before the game [that he was fit], he said he was okay and the doctor said that so I don't regret that."

Pellegrini refused to criticise Kompany publicly, adding: “I don’t like to analyse the individual performance with the media. I talk with the players and when we win or lose, it is the responsibility of the whole team.”

City will face Sunderland on Wednesday without their 22-goal midfielder Yaya Toure who came off at Anfield with a muscle injury that is likely to sideline him for a fortnight.

But Pellegrini believes that players like Fernandinho, Javi Garcia and James Milner can compensate for the absence of the Ivory Coast international.

He said: “I have a lot of confidence because I know what those players can give. We have played the whole season with a lot of injuries. Now we've Yaya, we've had Kompany, [Sergio] Aguero, [Samir] Nasri [in the past]. But we have a squad and must replace him in this moment. I am sure we are going to do it with no problem.”

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