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Pellegrini: Manchester City season "thrown into the garbage"

Pellegrini has bemoaned Manchester City's form since the start of 2015. Credit: PA

Manchester City have thrown their Premier League title defence "into the garbage", according to boss Manuel Pellegrini.

City head into Sunday's Manchester derby fourth in the table, nine points off leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

The defending champions were level with José Mourinho's side at the start of 2015, but have since lost to Arsenal, Liverpool, Burnley and Crystal Palace in the league, as well as being eliminated from the FA Cup and the Champions League.

It has not been a good season. It was not so bad until the end of 2014, when we were top of the table and also had the FA Cup and Champions League.

But in the last three months we have thrown it into the garbage.

I think always for the fans it is important to finish as near to the top of the table as you can and that's what we must do.

– Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini urges City to 'never give up' in Chelsea chase

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini has urged his side to pick themselves up from their Champions League misery and finish the season strongly.

Pellegrini doesn't believed the title is sewn up just yet. Credit: PA

City's season is now in danger of fizzling out after Barcelona ended their hopes of progressing in Europe with a formidable display at the Nou Camp.

Coming four days after a shock loss to Burnley left their Premier League title defence in tatters, City look set to end the season empty-handed and reflecting on under-achievement.

But Pellegrini insists the campaign is not yet over, and wants a strong response against West Brom on Saturday.

The Chilean, who is looking increasingly vulnerable in his position, said:

We must never give up. We are six points behind Chelsea, so it is difficult, but we still have nine games left. We must focus our minds.

It is a disappointment not to go through but we have just played the best team in the world.

– Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Austin and Pellegrini win Premier League awards

Austin is the leading English goalscorer in the Premier League. Credit: PA
Pellegrini has closed the gap to leaders Chelsea. Credit: PA

QPR striker Charlie Austin has been crowned the Premier League player of the month for December, with Manuel Pellegrini clinching the managerial accolade.

Austin scored five goals for relegation threatened Rangers last month including a hat-trick against West Brom, while Pellegrini guided champions Man City to five consecutive victories before the 2-2 draw against Burnley.