English Premiership

Pellegrini dismisses Yaya jibe

2014-02-11 19:00
Manuel Pellegrini (AP Photo)

London - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has on Tuesday refused to react to claims from Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho that City midfielder Yaya Toure should have been punished by the Football Association.

Mourinho has chipped away at Pellegrini in recent weeks, variously alleging that City have benefited from generous officiating and accusing the club of not adhering to UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

On Monday he said that an FA disciplinary panel's decision not to punish Toure for kicking out at Norwich City's Ricky van Wolfswinkel during a game at the weekend may have set a dangerous precedent.

Last week, Pellegrini took issue with Mourinho's claim that Chelsea were "the little horse" in the Premier League title race, countering that the west London club were "little, but rich".

However, when asked for his response to Mourinho's comments about Toure, Pellegrini chose to toe a diplomatic line.

"I answered just once to Mourinho because if you remain in silence always, (people) may agree with those things," he told a press conference.

"He started talking about referees and Financial Fair Play. I don't think it is the way (to do things). But just once. I will not continue every week talking about things that for me are not important.

"I repeat, I don't respond to things Mourinho says every week because he will continue every week to try talking about things that are not from football."

Pellegrini and Mourinho previously clashed during their time in Spain, with the Portuguese denigrating the Chilean's achievements after succeeding him as manager of Real Madrid in 2010.

Mourinho is often depicted as a master of psychological 'mind games' in the British media, but Pellegrini says that he is not concerned by what rival managers say.

"No, I don't think those are mind games," he said. "I don't think any managers can be affected by those kind of things."

Pellegrini is currently without Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Samir Nasri due to injury and with so many key players unavailable, he expressed relief that Toure had avoided a ban.

"I suppose the FA acts the way they think is better for all the teams," he said. "I trust in the FA and I trust in referees."

Toure appeared to kick out at Van Wolfswinkel towards the end of Saturday's 0-0 draw at Carrow Road, but the Norwich striker said he was happy with the FA's decision not to punish the City midfielder.

"Good to see Toure not getting suspended," he wrote on Twitter. "Players like him belong on the pitch! What happens at Carrow Road stays at Carrow Road.

"Things happen on the pitch. But we all enjoy watching him play. So get on with it and enjoy the football. That's what it's all about."

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