Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that he and his Malaga team are not focused on issues with Jose Mourinho or Real Madrid going into this weekend.
The Anchovies host Madrid in Week 17’s Sunday evening fixture one place and five points behind the capital club, who are enduring a difficult start to the season and find themselves already 13 points behind Barcelona.
Despite having his personal run-ins with Mourinho in the past, Pellegrini has looked to avoid controversy in the build-up to this game, insisting that trying to take a result from Los Blancos is not motivated by the potential ramifications for the Portuguese.
“I do not think I will be the judge over Mourinho for the game this weekend, we are not approaching it like this, nor are we concerned about what might happen at Real Madrid,” the Chilean told Ondacero this week.
“For us it is a very important game. We have had several meetings with them and the first was very hard in my time here [a 7-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu, March 2011].
“Real Madrid are still the stronger team, the favourite. They are having a difficult time and on Saturday will try to put in a good performance. We know it will be very difficult.”
The Coach made clear that he has no ill feeling towards the players at Madrid, despite how his term ended there.
“I am very grateful to all the players of Real Madrid because they knew I was leaving from October and still we had a great season.
“The fans? They did surveys after we were eliminated from the Champions League and still 80 per cent supported me.”
Pellegrini was also asked for comment on Tito Vilanova’s relapse with cancer.
“Football generates a lot of passion but there are much more important things, one of which is health.”
The Coach also had a brief soundbite for Santi Cazorla’s sale from the club in the summer, to alleviate their financial issues.
“His departure and the amount that it was done for was a blunder.”