Pellegrini has been left with egg on his face after jettisoning Barry without seeing him play.
He insisted: "It is true that we did not know that Rodwell and Richards would be unlucky with injuries and maybe Gareth Barry would have played some games.
"But it is important to understand that the decision about Barry was made at the start of the season, when we had five players for two positions. That was too many.
"Rodwell was 22, Barry was 32 and in the final season of his contract. So the decision had to be Rodwell."
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