Pellegrini: Man City needs a superstar
Manuel Pellegrini has underlined Manchester City's lack of experience as a traditional powerhouse in English football and the club's failure to sign a superstar player as reasons for the Premier League champion's difficulties this season.
City finds itself six points adrift of Chelsea following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Burnley.
Pellegrini's men are also on the brink of elimination from the UEFA Champions League and go into Wednesday's away leg of their last-16 tie with Barcelona 2-1 down, leaving City's season - and reportedly Pellegrini's job - hanging in the balance.
"I prefer not to offer reasons [for their struggles], because they sound like excuses and there's no excuse," Pellegrini said in quotes reported by The Guardian.
"When you win something, if you don't have that mentality that comes from a tradition of always winning, the built-in demands of a big club, there's always a small dip. Where we have most slipped is goals. This was the ideal year [to build], [but] with the financial fair play restrictions, not only could we not sign, we couldn't register players.
"To buy [Wilfried] Bony we had to leave [Stevan] Jovetic out [of their Champions League squad]. With those limitations, we strengthened defensively. We brought Willy Caballero to give Joe Hart competition, [Eliaquim] Mangala, who's 23 and will be an important player, Fernando because Javier Garcia wanted to go, [Bacary] Sagna because Micah Richards was always injured. What we didn't do was sign a 'crack' [superstar]."
Asked if he wanted to sign a marquee name, Pellegrini added: "Well, we have [Sergio] Aguero, but the answer is yes. The way it's growing, I think this team needs a 'crack'."