City coach Pellegrini defends Kompany choice
16 April 2014, 14:12
London - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no regrets about selecting captain Vincent Kompany to play in last weekend's costly 3-2 loss at Premier League title rivals Liverpool, he said Wednesday.
A training-ground injury scare had put Kompany's participation in doubt and although he was ultimately passed fit to play, he produced an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance.
The Belgian centre back was partly at fault for Liverpool's first two goals and directly responsible for the hosts' 78th-minute winner, when his sliced clearance enabled Philippe Coutinho to score.
Defeat left City seven points below the league leaders, albeit with two games in hand, but Pellegrini does not believe that his decision to pick Kompany was a mistake.
"He started the game because he is the captain," said the Chilean, ahead of City's home game with Sunderland.
"He made all the proof before the game, he said he was OK, and the doctor said that, so I don't regret that. But I don't like to analyse individual performances with the media.
"I talk with the players and when we win or lose, it is the responsibility of the whole team."
Kompany is expected to line up against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium, while top scorer Sergio Aguero is also available after making his return from a five-game absence with a hamstring injury at Anfield.
Key central midfielder Yaya Toure has been ruled out for up to two weeks after hurting his leg against Liverpool, but Pellegrini believes the squad has sufficient depth to cope in his absence.
"We have played the whole season with a lot of injuries," Pellegrini said.
"Now we have Yaya. We've had Kompany, Aguero, (Samir) Nasri. We were the only team that continued in the four competitions because we had an important squad and a lot of those players played well.
"He's an important player, one of the most important we have in our team. But we have a squad and must replace him in this moment. I am sure we are going to do it with no problem."