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HONG KONG (AFP) – Manchester City arrived in Hong Kong on Monday without new manager Manuel Pellegrini, but assistant manager Brian Kidd insisted the team's pre-season build-up was on track despite the Chilean's absence.
Pellegrini, who was only appointed last month after Roberto Mancini was sacked, returned to Chile at the end of last week for family reasons.
City officials told AFP that they hoped he might join up with his squad on Tuesday, although that was not concrete.
The big-spending team touched down in the southern Chinese city after two losses in friendlies in South Africa.
Kidd said he was happy with City's preparations ahead of the start of their Premier League season on August 19.
"The main concern is players getting minutes under their belt," said Kidd. "Even when he (Pellegrini) went back to Chile the substitutes were all planned, what time the players had to go on and off, albeit with a bit of scope with injuries and everything.
"His preparation has been superb and his backroom staff have been tremendous. I have been really impressed with them."
City, who lost their Premier League crown to Manchester United last season, have been the biggest spenders so far in the transfer market, adding forwards Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, and midfielders Jesus Navas and Fernandinho.
All are expected to feature against local side South China on Wednesday in the Barclays Asia Trophy. City will play Sunderland or Spurs three days later.
Kidd said he was excited by the new additions: "They look really talented boys and they are going to make an impact in the Premier League and in the Champions League.
"I believe you need four forwards so you can alternate because the Premier League is a demanding league and we will be fighting on all fronts in the Champions League.
"I would not change our squad for any squad in the Premier League."
Those sentiments were echoed by captain Vincent Kompany.
"We've played a big part so far in the transfer market. There was a bit of a gap last season between us and the champions, but we are doing everything to bridge that gap," he said.
"It shows that we definitely have the intention to be champions again."