Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has hit out at Belgium after captain Vincent Kompany featured in their final Euro 2016 qualifier this week. Kompany was called up for international duty despite missing City’s last five games with a calf injury.
Pellegrini had insisted that his influential skipper would not be fit for either of the games against Andorra or Israel but Belgium coach Marc Wilmots fielded him in the latter. The 29-year-old came through 58 minutes of action unscathed, but Pellegrini was not happy, even though he accepts Wilmots acted within his rights:
“I was not pleased because we sent Vincent with some medical report that he was not able to play but, as the manager of Belgium said, he can do what he wants in the international break. He can use the players and he wanted to use him.
“But for me, when you don’t send a player to the national squad and you cannot use him for your club, I think the other sense must be the same. If a player didn’t play the last three games for his club he cannot play for the national squad.
“But these are the rules. I think some day clubs will protest about that.”
Pellegrini insisted this had not led to a problem between him and Kompany, but would not confirm whether the defender would return to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash against Bournemouth:
“There is not a problem with him. I think it was important for Vincent to work a complete week before he played and he couldn’t do it because he played for Belgium. He had to recover here Wednesday and Thursday.
“We will have to see in the future when he can return to his position. Tomorrow we will see the starting XI.”
Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference, also confirmed that star striker Sergio Aguero was likely to be out at least a month.
Aguero, who scored five goals on his last City appearance against Newcastle, suffered a hamstring injury on international duty and had said he feared such a lay-off.
Pellegrini said: “Sergio has a muscle injury. I think it is an important injury, so I don’t think he will be back before one month.”
It proved a costly international break for City with playmaker David Silva and left back Aleksandar Kolarov returning injured. Both are likely to be out for a fortnight.
City will hope to maintain their advantage at the top of the table against the Cherries, but Pellegrini is wary of the vibrancy of the promoted side:
“I hope that we can win that game but I think the only way to win it is to be absolutely sure you play with 100 per cent of intensity.
“They are good players, they are the same players that won promotion last season. I have seen the last three games that they play and they really try to play as a team.”
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