Manuel Pellegrini confident of Eliaquim Mangala improvement

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says that Eliaquim Mangala will follow in the footsteps of Martin Demichelis and prove his mettle in the Premier League eventually.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has leapt to the defence of under-fire defender Eliaquim Mangala and believes that he will eventually silence his critics.

The 23-year-old has endured a troubled start to life in the Premier League since making a £32m move from Porto in the summer.

Mangala came in for criticism after Saturday's 2-1 defeat to West Ham United, with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce claiming that he identified him as the chink in the armour.

The situation evokes memories of Martin Demichelis for Pellegrini, who staunchly defended him after the Argentine also endured a much-scrutinised introduction to English football.

"The same thing happened with Martin Demichelis last year. Remember all the criticism for him after he just arrived in the Premier League," the Chilean told the Daily Mail.

"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."

City, who sit six points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea, host bitter rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Eliaquim Mangala of Manchester City competes with Ramires of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on September 21, 2014
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1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
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11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
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15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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