The 31-year-old has struggled to replicate last season’s dominant displays but the Chilean insists that the Ivorian midfielder remains a key part of his squad
Manuel Pellegrini admits he has been unhappy with Yaya Toure’s performances for Manchester City this season.
The 31-year-old has been criticised for his inconsistent displays for the Premier League champions and came under fire after a subdued outing in City’s 4-2 defeat to Manchester United last Sunday.
The loss at Old Trafford has left City 12 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea but Pellegrini insists Toure remains an important part of the team.
“I don’t think he’s happy with his performance this year – and nor am I. But we must support him and return him to his normal performance,” said Pellegrini.
“Maybe if we play without Yaya when he was at the Africa Cup and we’d won all the games, then he comes back and we start losing, maybe then you think that. Yaya needs support, he’s a very important player and he will have my support till the end of the season.”
The City boss also insists Toure’s form has not been hampered due to the Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign earlier this year.
“He doesn’t need a break. For a lot of reasons he’s not the same player he was last season but he continues being a very important player for our team,” said Pellegrini.
“It’s very easy when you don’t get the results to single out one player but remember in January people said we were one player and it was Yaya.
“That’s when we started with bad results – it was just because this team was Yaya. The only player we had was Yaya and without him we couldn’t win – I don’t think it was true.
“He’s not playing well in parts of the game. But in some parts he is playing well and he will continue playing.”