Manuel Pellegrini declared himself satisfied with another home clean sheet after his team’s 2-0 win over Hull.
Goals from Alvaro Negredo and Yaya Toure gave the Chilean his second Premier League victory to nil in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.
Although his Blues side were not at their fluent best, the 59-year was satisfied by what he saw against a stubborn Hull City outift.
“First of all, the most important thing was the points,” he asserted, “in pre-season we tried to work on different things, we experimented - when we play in the Premier League, we think more about the three points, so I am very pleased to win.
“We must improve though, we had many difficulties in the first-half.
“The defeat against Cardiff could be one of the things that affected us, in the first-half we were without trust but I think the other important thing after the three points is the defence – again at home we have a clean sheet – that’s very pleasing.”
‘Welcome to the Premier League’ seemed to be the media’s message to Manuel after the morale-sapping defeat to Cardiff City last Sunday but the City boss maintained that he was not surprised by anything he saw in the Welsh capital or against another newly-promoted side in Hull.
In fact, Pellegrini hinted that the strength throughout the division was one of the big attractions of the City post he took up in the summer.
“Hull is a good team, I was concerned [that we failed to break them down in the first-half] but 2-0 is a good scoreline – we can’t win every game four or five nil, that’s a good thing about the Premier League,” he said.
“I’m not surprised by the strength of the Premier League – it’s not easy in this league in any game. I know that the first game against Newcastle was not a true reflection of the league.
...Manuel Pellegrini on the Premier League's strength...
“Maybe one day if we are very clever in the last 25 minutes we can see scorelines like that again but I never expected that every game would be like the Newcastle game.”
Negredo’s second goal in as many appearances was one bright spot on an often frustrating day for the Blues and his manager is clearly delighted at how quickly the Spanish international has adapted to life in English football.
With Edin Dzeko earning the man of the match award in the opening game and scoring against Cardiff, the City boss also admitted that he is delighted to have so many options in the striking department.
“I expect Alvaro to do exactly what we’re seeing every time he plays,” Pellegrini stated.
“He played some minutes and scored a legal goal in the first game against Newcastle which was ruled invalid. In the second game, he scored a goal – again today, he scored one goal more.
“I know what a good striker he is. In Edin and Alvaro we have two very good strikers. We’ll need both of them.
“During August, we played just three matches at weekends but after the international break we have to play eight matches every month, so everyone who has a good performance has a chance to start.
...Manuel Pellegrini on squad rotation...
“We will rotate the squad a lot over the coming months.”
Pellegrini’s Hull City counterpart Steve Bruce was left ruing missed chances in the first-half and believes that his team did enough to get something from the game.
“We’re rightly disappointed but immensely pleased with how we took them on,” Bruce revealed.
“We couldn’t have asked for anymore. Our Achilles heel even last year when we came up was ‘can we score enough’ - we needed to score while we were creating chances.
“I’ve been here a few times since the change, since the takeover, and I think we had more chances today than I’ve had in six visits here today.
“We’ve got to enjoy it, the Championship is a tough, long slog. We come to places like this, these arenas, up against the best players and managers – we want to be bold and play and see if we’re good enough to stay here.”