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Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City have endured a difficult week

MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini says it has been a tough week for Manchester City after their back-to-back home defeats to Premier League title rivals.

City are six points off the top of the table after last Sunday's loss to second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, which came after they had been beaten by leaders Leicester.

Pellegrini's side have failed to beat any other team in the top five, and he told a news conference: "We didn't expect to lose those two games in a row against Tottenham and Leicester.

"They are fighting for the title. It was not easy, but when you have those defeats you must try to take important things from them.

"We analysed why we didn't play well -- it was the mistakes we made. It was a difficult week but a useful week, and I hope in the next game we'll correct a lot of mistakes.

"In the last two games that we played, maybe the second half of Tottenham we played better.

"But I think it was not our normal team. We normally have a lot of possession, create chances and score goals, so that's more worrying than one single score. This week we have worked to return to the team we normally are."

Manchester City have dropped to fourth place in the Premier League table.
Manchester City must rebound from a tough week to face the challenges ahead.

City now face successive cup games in the FA Cup and Champions League before the Capital One Cup final at the end of the month.

The first comes at Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday, where Pellegrini has suggested he will play a young team.

He said: "I think that when you don't play with your best team, it's always an advantage to your opponent. But there are some reasons or different cases when you must do it.

"After that, it's so important the performance of the players who play that game.

"A lot of the time you will see, especially in the cups, that teams from League One or Two eliminate the important teams from the Premier League or young teams from the Premier League give a good performance.

"It's important that the players who play that game have the performance we know they can do."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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