Zabaleta: Pellegrini deserves more respect

Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta jumped to the defence of embattled manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Pablo Zabaleta insisted his Manchester City team-mates should shoulder some of the blame for the club's poor season and not Manuel Pellegrini, who is facing an uncertain future.

City are set to relinquish their Premier League crown to Chelsea, who top the standings by 10 points with a game in hand heading into round 35.

Pellegrini's job is reportedly on the line following City's league struggles and exits from the UEFA Champions League (round of 16), FA Cup (fourth round) and League Cup (fourth round), with Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti among possible replacements.

Zabaleta, however, said the Chilean boss should not be sacked as a result of unsatisfactory performances from the squad.

"The manager deserves more respect from everyone," the Argentina international said. "He came last season and he won the Premier League and the Capital One Cup.

"We can't blame just the manager for this. Also, individual players have not been great in the whole season.

"Everyone is responsible - when you don't win titles, it can be a little bit frustrating for everyone. But we have to wait until the end of the season.

"Now is not the time to be thinking about what went wrong this season, it's just the time to finish as good as we can. Then we'll see what happens. It's not for me to say what should and should not happen.

"For the players, the owners, the manager and the staff, we are 100 per cent focused on what we're doing now.

"Then, at the end of the season, the right people will analyse what went wrong. The people responsible in every part of the club will decide what is best for the future."

City travel to sixth-placed Tottenham on Sunday.