Manuel Pellegrini says his Manchester City squad were not impacted by a midweek to Abu Dhabi for warm weather training and a friendly with Hamburg.
The City squad only arrived back in the UK on Friday afternoon, ahead of their FA Cup with Middlesbrough, which they went on to lose 2-0.
"I don't think so," said Pellegrini at his post-match press conference, when asked about the matter. "I don't agree but you can have your opinion. I have a different opinion.
"We had six or seven clear chances to score at the beginning. I think we played very well.
"After they scored the goal we were disorderly and they had another counter-attack and they could score more goals.
"But it is very easy to say that (about Abu Dhabi). I don't think that is the reason.
"You can analyse the game and if you think that is the reason, that is your reason but I have a different opinion from that."
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Man United shirts are sold four times more often in London than in Manchester, according to figures released by Sports Direct.
The sports department store claim that 44.71% of United shirts are purchased in the capital, while only 10.33% are bought in Manchester.
The local news for Red Devils' supporters is somewhat more heartening, with United shirts out selling those of rivals Man City by fifteen to one in Manchester.
Jose Mourinho has questioned Man City's compliance with Finacial Fair Play after claiming "the rules are different" for the Premier League champions.
City bought Wilfried Bony from Swansea this week for a fee which could rise to £30m, and Mourinho congratulated them on landing the striker before making one of his typically subtle and conspiracy-led remarks.
Chelsea travel to Swansea this weekend while City host Arsenal.
Man City midfielder Yaya Toure admits he's unsure about his future with the Premier League champions.
Speaking to CNN in Abu Dhabi where Ivory Coast are preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations, Toure refused to confirm where he'll be playing next season.
"That's a big question," he responded, when asked whether his future lies at the Etihad. "It's an easy question as well," he continued. "I have an easy answer: we will see. I don't know. I'm at City at the moment."
Manchester City have signed Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony from Premier League rivals Swansea CityRead the full story ›
Man City and Swansea have yet to confirm that a deal has been agreed for the transfer of Wilfried Bony, but that hasn't stopped the 26 year-old posing with a City shirt.
The striker is away on international duty with Ivory Coast ahead of this month's Africa Cup of Nations, and reportedly on the verge of clinching a £28m transfer to the Premier League champions.
He was pictured in Abu Dhabi this afternoon with Ivory Coast Football Federation president Sidy Diallo, holding a Manchester City shirt with the number 14 and name Wilfried on it.
Swansea earlier denied the deal has been completed.