English Premiership

Pellegrini back to boost City

2013-07-23 13:26
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Hong Kong - Manchester City will have manager Manuel Pellegrini back in the dugout for their friendly in Hong Kong on Wednesday following the death of his mother, his assistant Brian Kidd said.

Pellegrini was forced late last week to abandon City's pre-season preparations in South Africa to return to his native Chile.

But he arrived in Hong Kong on Tuesday and will go in search of his first win as City's boss on Wednesday in the Barclays Asia Trophy. They face local side South China.

"He's just arrived this afternoon and sends his apologies to everyone for not being able to make this press conference," Kidd said on Tuesday.

City defender and skipper Vincent Kompany praised the "flair" of Pellegrini, who was appointed last month as successor to the sacked Roberto Mancini.

"There's a certain flair to his methods," Kompany said of his new boss.

"He looks like a very decent human being as well. We've trained really hard and we've adapted to a new style but I think everyone in the team is willing to learn.

"We have to be better than last season so we need to learn and improve. Everything he has done so far he has done with a lot of class and a lot of method."

Kidd was full of praise for a City squad that has been strengthened with several stellar signings over the summer.

The club relinquished their Premier League crown to rivals Manchester United last season and tumbled out in the Champions League group stages.

"I think the application, professionalism and attitude of our squad is second-to-none," Kidd said.

"I wouldn't change it for any squad in the Premier League. We've not only got great, talented players in our squad, we've got really good people."

Kidd also predicted a tough ride over the coming season as the northwest club try to claw back some of their pride.

"It's going to be a hard 10 months in the Premier League but I think we will be ready for it and I think the players are hurting from last season as well because they are a proud bunch," he said.

"And they are hurting, they didn't take it lightly, believe you me."

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