Pellegrini: Guardiola appointment no excuse

Manuel Pellegrini said the mid-season appointment of Pep Guardiola as his replacement is not to blame for the club's woes.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said his side must avoid using the announcement of Pep Guardiola's arrival next season as an excuse for their poor second half to the campaign.

Since announcing in February that Guardiola would replace Pellegrini at the end of the season, City's form has suffered.

The club are languishing in fourth in the table, just one point clear of West Ham and Manchester United in fifth and sixth and 15 points off Leicester City in first place.

On a positive note, City have already secured silverware this season having won the League Cup and have reached their first ever Champions League quarter-final.

City lost the Manchester derby last time out and are looking to bounce back when they travel to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

"As a manager and as a player, you must always be motivated," Pellegrini said.

"It's very important for the mentality of the players to always try to be a winner, to try and win as many titles and games as you can.

"So I don't think anybody is thinking about next season. Every player must be thinking about what is happening in this moment and to try and make this a successful season.

"We're disappointed because one month ago we were involved in all the competitions, just three points behind the leaders."

Pellegrini refused to concede defeat in the title race, adding: "We have to play another eight games. It's not in this moment a bad season.

"We won a title, have continued in the Champions League. We were forced to leave the FA Cup because we had so many games and had a bad performance in the last Premier League game [against United]."