New Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini wants to avoid comparisons with Jose Mourinho, and believes that his tenure at Real Madrid holds no relevance to his new post.
Pellegrini coached Madrid for one season following the return of Florentino Perez to the club as president. Despite the huge investment that followed, which saw the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka join Los Merengues, Pellegrini was unable to win a trophy and was replaced by Mourinho in the summer.
"I have nothing to prove and I don't want comparisons (with Mourinho)," he said. "The past has no relation to this new project."
It's a project with a big future and to be part of that is attractive.
Manuel Pellegrini, newly appointed Malaga coach
Malaga have suffered three defeats in the last three games and currently sit in the bottom three of the 2010/11 La Liga following a miserable start to the season. Pellegrini, whose first match in charge will be against Espanyol on Saturday, says he was attracted to his new post by the long-term ambition of the club.
"It's a project with a big future and to be part of that is attractive," said the Chilean, who replaced Jesualdo Ferreira at the helm following his dismissal earlier this week. "We will see what we can do to improve. We have an immediate need to turn things around."
Striker Nabil Baha is back in contention for tomorrow's game, but Juanito, Manolo Gaspar, Jose Salomon Rondon, Ruben and Albert Luque all miss out through injury.
Espanyol forward Dani Osvaldo is back from suspension and midfielder Javi Marquez is also available, but Aldo Duscher, Jesus Datolo, Ivan de la Pena, Felipe Mattioni and Ernesto Galan are all sidelined.
While Malaga are down in 18th with seven points, Espanyol are flying high in fifth place with 15 points and Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino believes his side can win tomorrow, despite the club's long injury list.
"That's not an excuse. We have a big squad to work with," said Pochettino. "We have to go out and win and the absences cannot determine the result."