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Pellegrini: World Cup ‘cuts’ season into two phases for veteran Betis

Manuel Pellegrini believes the World Cup will create a unique logistical challenge for club coaches this season in Europe, but his confidence with Real Betis remains high.

Under Pellegrini last season, Betis missed out on Champions League qualification.

And they finished fifth in LaLiga, claiming the Copa del Rey for the first time since 2005.

With the World Cup break in November and only five players in the squad under 23.

Finding and maintaining an acute sense of rhythm represents a final challenge in building upon last season.

Speaking to Marca as his side commences pre-season, the 68-year-old believes the second half of the upcoming LaLiga season will be like a sprint to the finish.

Pellegrini said:

“It is a different World Cup that will cut the championship into two phases, with 45 or 50 days without playing.

“So you must try to amortise it with friendly matches, with occasional vacations, to reach the second part of the championship with all the energy needed for the final stretch.”

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Pellegrini: World Cup 'cuts' season into two phases for veteran Betis

Combining the combative likes of Borja Iglesias and Guido Rodriguez with the more cerebral Sergio Canales and William Carvalho, Betis played a distinct brand of football under Pellegrini last season.

Last season, they were one of only five teams in LaLiga to score over 60 goals.

And the Argentine coach raised the idea his side’s fans have also been normalised to a particular style of football.

He added, however, that maintaining an attractive style of football while delivering amid heightened expectations is a challenge his side is willing to meet while competing on domestic and continental fronts.

Pellegrini said:

“Yes, we all want more, the people and us. But of course, it is not easy to achieve it.

“But we will fight from the first day to be able to do it.

“There are four titles in dispute, LaLiga, the Copa del Rey, the Europa League and the Supercopa.

“Of course, we will try to fight for all of them. It is also a challenge to qualify for Europe again.

“If it is in the Champions League, even better, but the biggest challenge is maintaining a style of play.

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Pellegrini: World Cup 'cuts' season into two phases for veteran Betis

“And a style where the fans feel identified and not looking for a result.

“It is a significant challenge, motivating, and a hope we generate ourselves.

“And now we must take charge because the Betis fan has to stay with that bar and support the team the same.”

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