Football: I'm at Man City for the long haul, says Pellegrini

Football: I'm at Man City for the long haul, says Pellegrini

LONDON - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has committed himself to the club despite speculation that failure to land a trophy this season could see the Chilean packing his bags.

The champions are five points behind Chelsea in the Premier League and face a daunting task in Barcelona next week where they will try to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit in the Champions League last 16.

Both domestic cups also passed them by, but 61-year-old Pellegrini batted away questions about his future on Friday.

"My future is very easy," he told a news conference.

"I have a contract here until June 2016 and I will finish my contract here and if I can extend my contract, I will extend my contract. "When I sign a contract, I always try to finish my contract in the amount of years I sign at the beginning.

"If I am not happy, maybe you try to finish your contract before. Here I am very happy."

City's players return to the pursuit of a second consecutive title at struggling Burnley on Saturday having enjoyed the rare luxury of a two-week break.

A shock FA Cup exit at the hands of second tier Middlesbrough meant they were not in action last weekend, allowing Pellegrini's squad a welcome breather before they set their sights on a crucial period that could define their season.

After visiting Burnley, City go to Barcelona, then host West Bromwich Albion before tricky away games at Crystal Palace and Manchester United.

Should they get through those fixtures still only five points behind leaders Chelsea they may fancy their chances of overhauling Jose Mourinho's frontrunners who will still have to play Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"The break was very useful," Pellegrini said.

"The win against Leicester was important, it was a good break for the players and we worked well."

During City's inactivity, Chelsea suffered a Champions Laegue exit at the hands of Paris St Germain, but Pellegrini said that would have no bearing on the title race.

"The pressure is the same whether you are still in the Champions League or not," he said.

While Burnley look destined for relegation they drew 2-2 in December and City midfielder Frank Lampard said the Lancashire club will pose a threat at Turf Moor.

"They're a very strong unit - they showed that earlier in the season when they came from 2-0 down to earn a draw with us and it won't be for the want of trying if they don't stay up - they've got as good a chance of anyone," he said.

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