Manuel Pellegrini blames Man City's Pep Guardiola announcement for derailing their title bid

Manuel Pellegrini blames Man City's Pep Guardiola announcement for derailing their title bid

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes the announcement of Pep Guardiola's appointment as his successor is to blame for their Barclays Premier League title bid flopping.

News of Pellegrini's exit and the arrival of the Bayern Munich coach broke on February 1, and was followed by damaging back-to-back defeats to Leicester and Tottenham which derailed their bid for top spot.

City have never been able to regain the initiative and are now 13 points behind the Foxes with five games to go, leaving the Chilean counting the cost of those losses.

He told the Daily Mirror: "Of course for different reasons we lost important games in February, against Leicester and Tottenham - two games which do not allow us to be involved in the title.

"I am frustrated because we never expected to lose those games at home against Leicester and Tottenham. But there are a lot of reasons why those things happened. It's not normal in the way we are going to finish the season.

"At the start of February there was news about the change of the manager, about players who will not continue here next season, about a lot of things that involved the minds of all the players.

"We had those defeats at home, but now we are stable again and very happy to finish playing the way we have in these last games."

He continued: "It's not easy for the players when you read in newspapers all things that will happen next season - all the players who will go out, all the players that will come in. It's not easy for the players to focus their mind.

"But I think the merit of this squad is always that it had a lot of character, personality. We never give up, we continue in the same way, and I hope we will see in the future in the Champions League - I am sure this team, playing in this way, can play in the final."

More in this Section

Harry Gregg mourners hear how he ‘wanted to be remembered as a footballer’Harry Gregg mourners hear how he ‘wanted to be remembered as a footballer’

Anthony Daly: Limerick would relish sowing doubt in Cork mindsAnthony Daly: Limerick would relish sowing doubt in Cork minds

Sexton admires the Farrells' ability to set aside father-son relationshipSexton admires the Farrells' ability to set aside father-son relationship

Devin Toner's reintegration now total after World Cup blowDevin Toner's reintegration now total after World Cup blow


Lifestyle

Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner