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Pellegrini: Players not fresh

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini blamed tiredness for his side's below-par performance against Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 10:21 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Blamed tiredness for display in win over Crystal Palace

Manuel Pellegrini: Blamed tiredness for display in win over Crystal Palace

Pellegrini made six changes to his starting line-up as City laboured to victory over relegation-threatened Palace with Edin Dzeko scoring the all-important winning goal.

The Chilean insists he did not treat the game lightly by making so many changes and reiterated his disappointment at being forced to play two games in 48 hours after their Boxing Day victory over Liverpool.

City struggled to break down Palace for long periods of the game and Pellegrini admits he was frustrated by the away side's defensive tactics.

"Yes, of course I was very concerned," Pellegrini told Sky Sports. "Before the match I said when we finished against Liverpool, 48 hours it is impossible to recover for players.

"We didn't have our team fresh and it is very difficult when just one team want to play and the other just wants to defend so that was the game we saw today. That is not what we are used to do at the Etihad.

"We also had a lot of chances to score but I repeat it is very difficult to attack when the other team is with ten players in their own box. Maybe on some counter attacks and corners they had chances."

Pellegrini also played down fears over Joe Hart's eye injury after he picked up a nasty cut in a challenge with Cameron Jerome.

"Yes, he has a cut in his eye, but he never had any problem [to play on]."

The win moved City to the top of the table for 24 hours at least, but Pellegrini insists the title race will go to the wire.

"I repeat, there are six or seven teams that will continue fighting for the title to the end," added Pellegrini.

"Of the last eight games we have won seven and drawn one and recovered the distance Arsenal had on our team, but we continue next Wednesday [at Swansea] and the second half of the season will be very difficult for all of us."

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f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

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est player award should not go to a player who's second best at all the importent categories (i.e goals, assists etc) just because his team is at the top. If you are not first you are last; if you're second you are the first loser ( looking at you Hazard). David De Gea for POTY.

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ou can win five in a row or lose five in a row... Or in Carver's case you can win one in a row or lose five in a row.

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