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The 59-year-old insists a failure to come out firing early on could do irreversible damage to his side's Premier League title bid, especially with so many teams in the running

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has stressed the importance of a strong start to the season if his side are to prise back the Premier League title.

City finished nine points behind champions Manchester United last term, while third-placed Chelsea were only three points behind them in third.

And Pellegrini admits a slow start to the forthcoming campaign, which promises to be one of the most competitive ever, could spell the end of any title ambitions the Etihad Stadium outfit may harbour.

TITLE IS MAN CITY'S TO LOSE - MOURINHO
9/4 Manchester City are 9/4 with BetVictor to win the Premier League
“It’s important to make a quick start and to win the first league game, because if you lose ground it’s difficult to recover,” the 59-year-old told reporters.

“The English Premier League is a different league than I have worked with before, but I’m not concerned about that.

“Of course it’s always good to have more time but I hope the team will be prepared for the season ahead.”

Having already spent £92.3m this summer, Pellegrini is happy with the squad he has to work with this term – but says his side are a long way off being favourites to win the Premier League.

“I think City has a very good squad and I’m very pleased with it,” said Pellegrini. “But Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham also have very good squads.

“Four or five teams have exactly the same chance of winning. I don’t think any club has an advantage – it’s very equal.

“The only way I can explain how Manchester City will play is the way my teams have always played.

“I have been managing in Europe for nine years and in South America before that, and my teams always play the same way.”

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