Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has revealed the truth about Manuel Pellegrini's true character by insisting there is another side to the usually calm Blues boss.
Since replacing Roberto Mancini in the summer of 2013, Pellegrini has portrayed a calm persona in the media, but Zabaleta has spoken of the other side to his manager, revealing he's not afraid to give his players a half-time rollicking.
City are currently seven points behind league leaders Chelsea and are in danger of surrendering their Premier League crown, but that's not as a result of the calm approach adopted by the boss.
A certain Manchester manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, developed a reputation for his hot-headed approach to his players and made the 'hairdryer treatment' a common place in football.
While Pellegrini is unlikely to match Manchester United's legendary boss when it comes to foul-mouthed outbursts at his players, Zabaleta has seen him his lose his tempter on more than one occasion.
The Argentine defender's revelations will come as a surprise to many, who only see the calm and considered character adopted by Pellegrini when on media duties.
"What you see in public isn’t the whole story with the manager. When he speaks to the media he is always calm.
"He never gets involved in arguments or speaks about other teams or managers in a
critical way. So people see a very calm person – and that is one of the big qualities he has – but I can also tell you there are times when he shouts and really loses his temper."
City have suffered a number of disappointing results this campaign including giving up 2-0 leads against both CSKA Moscow and Burnley as well as a home defeat against Stoke early in the season.
It's at times like these when City's star-studded squad are brought to court by Pellegrini. Believe me, if we aren’t doing well at half-time or if we have lost a game, then we see how angry he can get," Zabaleta said.
"He is a tough man. He wants to win and he makes sure that the players understand that second-best is not enough. What people see outside the dressing room isn’t the Manuel Pellegrini that the players know.”
However, Zabaleta was also keen to give his manager credit for knowing when to let loose on his players and when to keep his anger in.
The 30-year-old, who has made himself first choice since Pellegrini's arrival, explained: "What he does very well is to pick the right moment. If a manager shouts all the time then maybe sometimes the players just stop listening.
“There are moments when he will shout to get his message across. But there are also times, when he wants to make an important change, that he stays very calm.
“Players appreciate that. It can get crazy in the dressing room when the game isn’t going
how you want, and that’s when you need the manager to be in control. If a manager offers you a clear solution then you lose your own frustration and you become more focused.”
City players and fans will be hoping the tough side of their Chilean boss isn't seen again this season as they look to haul their way back into the title race and progress in the Champions League, starting with the round of 16 clash with Barcelona.
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