Pellegrini refuses to concede title after defeat

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pellegrini on the brink after latest defeat
Pellegrini on the brink after latest defeat

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted his side were not ready to surrender their Premier League title after their shock 1-0 defeat at Burnley.

The champions crashed to a surprise 1-0 reverse against relegation battlers at Turf Moor and remain five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who now have two games in hand.

City have fallen away alarmingly since pulling level with the Londoners on New Year's Day and have won just three of their last nine league games.

"Every point we drop will be more difficult," said the coach who is now coming under increasing pressure to hang onto his job.

"When you have mathematical chances you must try to continue fighting, but the most important thing is to trust in what we are doing, try to win the next game and we will see at the end of the season where you will finish."

George Boyd struck the only goal of the game with a sweet, low left-foot half-volley from the edge of the area just after the hour.

TV pundit Jamie Redknapp claimed it was the type of performance that could get a manager the sack, but Pellegrini - who is coming under increasing pressure - refused to criticise his side.

He said: "It was a normal performance. I don't think we played very bad. We had three or four chances. Burnley had just one shot on target and scored one goal, but we need to create more chances.

"I don't think we created the amount of chances we need to score goals."

When it was suggested the performance should not be acceptable, Pellegrini, speaking in his post-match press conference, said: "I said it was a normal performance. We will try to improve and we must do it."