Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says his team is under no extra pressure to win the Premier League this season.
City was dumped out of the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic on Sunday and had its Champions League campaign ended by Barcelona on Wednesday.
Pellegrini says his side much recapture the form it showed at the start of the year if it is to overturn a nine-point gap behind Premier League leader Chelsea, which City has three games in hand on, but has dismissed the suggestion that the success of the season will now be defined on whether the team does so.
“I don’t think [there] is an extra pressure because the pressure is exactly the same from the first game of the Premier League to the last,” the manager told reporters. “We won the Capital One Cup and the pressure in the FA Cup and the Premier League were exactly the same. Now, the pressure to win the Premier League is exactly the same.
“I hope that we will recover our performances from when we played one month ago. I think the last month we felt a little bit the 18 games we played in two months previously. That is the cost of being in all competitions. If we want to have a chance of fighting for the title, we must recover the way we were playing one month ago.”
Asked if he was concerned about Chelsea’s advantage in the table ahead of City’s trip to Hull City on Saturday, Pellegrini replied: “Concern? No. Of course it is better if we had already played those three games in hand and won. Chelsea have done that, so we must do it in the future.”