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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Pellegrini had faith in City to see off Tigers threat

Manuel Pellegrini never doubted his Manchester City side would see off Hull, despite throwing away a two-goal lead in the first half.

The Barclays Premier League champions were 2-0 in front inside 11 minutes as Edin Dzeko followed Sergio Aguero's opener with a wonderful strike from the edge of the area.

At that stage victory seemed a formality but £32million defender Eliaquim Mangala gave the Tigers a route back, putting a bullet header into his own net then conceding a penalty which Abel Hernandez stroked home.

Hull gave their more illustrious visitors more than one scare with the scores tied but Dzeko's second and a fourth in three games from substitute Frank Lampard sealed a 4-2 win for the visitors.

And Pellegrini revealed he was always confident of getting the right result.

"I really was very calm because I don't think it was the real (rightful) score in the first half," he said.

"You must have personality and character when that happens to try and return to normal.

"I felt during half-time the players were clear about what happened, it was not that we were playing badly.

"The way we started (I felt) we were going to win the game in the second half and we did. I was very happy about that."

CALM

Pellegrini also played down his decision to hand Willy Cabellero a Premier League debut in place of England number one Joe Hart.

Caballero was brought to City as a credible challenger for the gloves and retained his place following his appearance in the 7-0 Capital One Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.

"I think for Willy it was good to play not just one game but to play two in a row," he said.

"Joe played eight games in 32 days, a lot of games for a goalkeeper. I have a squad of 22, 23 players and I make rotations because I think it is better for the team. In this case I think it was good for Willy."

Pellegrini had a word of consolation for Mangala, who endured a bumpy ride following an outstanding debut against Chelsea last weekend.

"I think you cannot analyse a player on one match," he said.

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