Manuel Pellegrini has told his Manchester City side not to give up on winning the title this season, despite suffering a setback to their chances with a 2-2 draw against Sunderland last night.
City had to come from behind at the Etihad to salvage a point after Connor Wickham grabbed a second-half double for the visitors.
Fernandinho’s early goal had put the Blues ahead before Wickham put the Black Cats on course to cause an upset.
Only through a mistake by Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone did City salvage a point as Samir Nasri equalised two minutes from time.
Despite dropping valuable points and the title moving further out of their grasp, Pellegrini is adamant that his side still have a chance to snatch the title as long as they win their remaining matches.
“Of course, our chances are now less. Three points was very important for us tonight, but we will continue fighting,” he said.
“We have five games more to play and we will continue to have chances.
“My duty is now to talk to the players and to win the last five games.”
The result means that City sit third in the table, six points behind league leaders Liverpool and four points below second-place Chelsea, with only one game in hand on the their title rivals.
For the Blues to stand any chance of replicating their title winning feat of 2012, both Liverpool and Chelsea must now drop points before the end of the season.
And despite Sunderland having only picked up one point in their last six matches before the game, Pellegrini said it was normal for teams to suffer dips in form during the course of a season.
“Before the match I was worried about this game. Playing against a team fighting relegation is very difficult and we had only four days to get over the Liverpool game,” he continued.
“I don’t think we played with any less confidence following the game against Liverpool.
“My players are more mentally tired than physically tired. Playing this game after Liverpool was very difficult.”
The Chilean admitted that other sides were favourites for the title but believes his team will not be deterred by this in the run in.
“We have five games more in which to play. Liverpool has a better chance than us and Chelsea but we will continue fighting until the end,” he stated.
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