Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City must focus on winning their remaining Premier League games after a damaging loss to Liverpool on the weekend.
The current champions lost 2-1 at Anfield to two stunning goals from Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho, with Edin Dzeko grabbing City’s solitary strike.
And the result means City remain five points behind Chelsea, who have a game in hand after their Capital One Cup victory on Sunday, which Pellegrini believes they can peg back.
“You never know in football what will happen,” said Pellegrini.
“It is more difficult when you have less games and you continue with the same points, but I don’t think the team can think about that.
“I think we never give up about the title. We must try to improve our play first and after that try to win our next game.”
City have failed to win at Anfield in their last 13 games in all competitions and fell on this occasion to two long-range strikes either side of half-time from skipper Henderson and man-of-the-match Coutinho.
The home side showed no sign of fatigue despite their Europa League penalty shootout defeat at Besiktas on Thursday night.
And City came under fire from pundits for their tactics, in a week that also saw them lose 2-1 at The Etihad to Barcelona in the Champions League last 16.
Sky Sports duo Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were particularly critical of Pellegrini, who stuck with a 4-4-2 formation that proved fruitless against Barcelona.
“If I was a Manchester City player, I’d be embarrassed how easy it is to play through them,” said Neville.
“We’re judging Manchester City as champions of the Premier League. There has to be progression year on year, you have to get better. But this team, we keep seeing the same mistakes being made.”
Carragher echoed the ex-Manchester United defender’s thoughts, adding: “It’s embarrassing really for a manager at that level to go into a game against Barcelona two years running and then again at Anfield like this.
“Something is not right about City and there have to be changes at the end of the season.”
Main image courtesy of Manchester City FC 1 via YouTube, with thanks.