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May 11, 2014

Man City stars hail Pellegrini

The FC crew take a look back at Manchester City's route to winning the Premier League title.

Manchester City's title winners lined up to pay tribute to manager Manuel Pellegrini as he secured Premier League title glory in his first season at the club.

Manchester City fan celebration in stands
City fans celebrate the title triumph.

Brewin: City hold their nerve

A 2-0 victory over West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday saw City finish two points clear of Liverpool, and Samir Nasri -- who netted the opening goal -- was among those to pay credit.

"It's an amazing feeling," Nasri told Sky Sports. "It is my second league in three years and it was an amazing win during the whole year. There is no words to explain our feeling right now. Maybe in an hour or two we will really feel it, but I'm just so happy for the manager because it's his first time in Europe.

"The manager has done an amazing job. He has remained calm all season and allowed us to play attractive football. It was a pleasure to work with him.

"I think it was the atmosphere in the dressing room [that was crucial to the success]. We have been really [good] friends this year. Everyone put their ego on the side and that's important. We had to believe and I think the Liverpool game against Chelsea, that's the twist of the season."

Goalkeeper Joe Hart also hailed Pellegrini after a fine end to a season in which the England No. 1 was dropped following a dip in form.

"He's a winner," Hart said. "He wants us to win. He believes in what he does and is prepared to do what he needs to do to win the league.

"Everyone is happy and excited. We have really come on strong at the end when we needed to. We won the games we needed to win and this is the final result.

"We are all winners. We have got strong personalities. We have found a way for it to work. We have a great backroom staff and we have amazing people who work for Manchester City."

Pellegrini himself vowed after the game to continue winning major trophies at the club.

After adding the Premier League title to his Capital One Cup triumph in March, the Chilean is already thinking about next season.

"I think that big teams cannot be satisfied with just one title," Pellegrini told Sky Sports. "We finish this year with two titles and we can celebrate today and tomorrow. On Tuesday, we start work for next season because this club, these fans deserve more titles."

He added: "It was a beautiful, great season. We kept going longest in all four competitions and we managed to win two. I think it is very important to celebrate today and tomorrow, and start on Tuesday working for the next season. Then we will start thinking where we can improve.

"It has been a brilliant season. Maybe if we didn't win the title it would be a very good reason because it was my first season but I did not want to give an excuse. I think it was a season that all of us enjoy: the fans, the players, me, also because they see the way we play."

City ended up one goal short of Chelsea's divisional record of 103, but struck 156 times in all competitions.

That surpassed the previous best of 147, set by Chelsea last year, and Pellegrini felt his side had succeeded with style.

He said: "We won with 102 goals, with the record of goals in all competitions in the history here in England. It is the way the team must play with the quality of players we have. We have players to play on the counter-attack but for me, to win titles in that way, I will not be happy."

Pellegrini was full of praise for the efforts of his players after they finished two points ahead of Liverpool in the final league table.

"It is my first year here in England, but I manage a great group of players and we have some great fans," Pellegrini said. "It was a very special season for us. We have not been at the top of the table because we had games postponed and we did not start very well.

"I think the most important thing we did this year is when we finished playing our sixth game away and we had just one point from 18 -- I told the players we cannot change because this is the way we play. They believe in me and they started to play. Now until the end, I think we have more points than the others [away from home].

"This is a very special group. We had some very difficult moments, but they always believe what I tell them, the way I like to play. We try to play the whole year as a winning team, as a big team thinks. I think the best team has won the title in the end."

City were seven points behind Liverpool with five games to go and Pellegrini added: "It was a very difficult season. We were just top of the table for a few days. We were nine points behind Chelsea, or eight behind Liverpool, or five behind Arsenal at some points. The most important thing was that the players believed."

City captain Vincent Kompany insisted this second title triumph in three seasons has to be "the first of many" for the club.

"We are building a club, not just a team that wins trophies now and again," said Kompany. "The past is the past and the future, surely we have a place in the future. That is why I am excited to be here.

"Forget about the money, forget about everything. As a kid, you grow up and all you dream about is winning games and lifting trophies. I have dreamed of lifting trophies and I feel like I am achieving that dream.

"I come here every year and have a feeling we need to be better. Next year we need to be better and if we want to be a big club, this has to be the first of many titles.

"It's unbelievable. I'm so happy. This team has more than talent. It has a soul and heart to it. The way we finished this season is a credit to how well we have always prepared for every single game and how we have always believed in ourselves. This is for the fans."

City midfielder Fernandinho said that his emotions almost rendered him speechless after helping his side secure the title.

He said: "Today was amazing, by the fans, the club, the team -- everyone was concentrated to get the result. In that moment you don't know exactly what you say because the emotion is so high.

"To win the Premier League is amazing, and in the first season it is doubly amazing. I am so happy, I am so glad to help my team, and I am so proud to play for this team.''

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