Mangala will improve, Pellegrini insists

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said that it is only a matter of time before central defender Eliaquim Mangala adapts full to the demands of the Premier League, Sky Sports has reported.

Due to a lack of match fitness, Mangala – who was signed from FC Porto in the summer for £32m – did not make his competitive debut for the champions until the home encounter with Chelsea on September 21. He emerged from that game with credit, but was criticised for his next performance at Hull City, in which he scored an own goal and conceded a penalty.

On Saturday, he was given another tough afternoon by West Ham United, whose manager Sam Allardyce later admitted that he had deliberately targeted the France international. But when asked about the 23-year-old, Pellegrini was unconcerned, saying: “The same thing happened with Martin Demichelis last year. Remember all the criticism for him after he just arrived in the Premier League.

“I think Eliaquim Mangala is a young player and he has a lot of experience. I am sure we bought the centre-back that we need in him.”

The Chilean was speaking ahead of Wednesday evening’s Capital One Cup fourth round tie at home to Newcastle United, with City aiming to continue the defence of their title.

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