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Saturday 23 August 2014

Pellegrini enjoying title race

Published 11/04/2014 | 23:12

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is enjoying the pressure of competing for the title

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is relishing the pressure of the title race and claims his players should also be embracing and enjoying it.

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has suggested City are under greater pressure to win when the two Barclays Premier League title rivals meet at Anfield on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho, manager of the third side in the chase, Chelsea, has also continually downplayed his team's chances.

But Pellegrini insists the pressure on all three clubs is the same and has no interest in getting involved in any psychological battles.

Instead he is thriving on the intensity of the closest battle for top spot in years.

He said: "I don't try to take advantage and say we don't have any pressure because we play away or they are the best team - they (Liverpool) are top of the table.

"That's why I have so much respect for Arsene Wenger saying Arsenal can do it.

"Afterwards, if they can't do it, then it's another problem, but if you are at an important club you can't say, 'We don't have pressure to win a title, the other clubs have it all'.

"I think the two teams have the same pressure.

"It's impossible not to enjoy a fight for the title as has happened this year in the Premier League.

"That's why we are here - fighting for the title. It's better for everyone to have three or four teams fighting for the title. I enjoy it."

Asked if the players felt the same, Pellegrini said: "Of course - if not, they cannot be important players for the national squad or for big teams."

Liverpool top the table after a run of nine successive wins and Chelsea are second but City, third with two games in hand, have their destiny in their own hands.

The Merseysiders will provide a strong test of their mettle however, having scored 90 league goals compared to City's 84, with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at the fore.

The Reds also outplayed City for large spells before losing 2-1 when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.

Pellegrini said: "The two players (Suarez and Sturridge) have made a lot of problems for all the teams, but every game is different so I am not thinking about what happened on Boxing Day.

"On Sunday we'll have to play with a lot of concentration because they have a lot of good players."

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