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Manuel Pellegrini on injuries, the title race and Jovetic's snub


Manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident Manchester City can close the gap from leaders Chelsea.

The Citizens are five points behind Jose Mourinho's side but the 61-year-old insists there's plenty of time left to eliminate the deficit.

"When you have to play for 45 points more, you can close that gap," Pellegrini said.

"What's important for our team is to be at the top of the table as soon as we can.

"We can improve our performance and repeat what we did in the back end of December and wait to see whether Chelsea drop points.

"January was not a good month because we changed again our style of play. We had to arrange our team when strikers came back and they need to have minutes again.

"I suppose the game of Chelsea again was a switch again. We played a very good game against the best team. I'm sure we will soon see the things we are used to."

Pellegrini welcomes defender Eliaquim Mangala and midfielder Samir Nasri back in the squad for Saturday's home game against Hull City.

"We have no injuries, we have a full squad," the Chilean said.

"Mangala and Nasri are fine and will be in the squad. Samir Nasri is important for the team but we cannot just think that because he can play we will win."

Meanwhile, the Chilean says striker Stevan Jovetic is still part of his plans at Manchester City after the 25-year-old was not included in City's Champions League squad.

"It was difficult to take a player out of the list but we bought in Bony and we have another box player. It was a difficult decision but I think the decision was right," he said.

"I don't think that it has relation to anything. It's important for Stevan to try to play as much as he can between now and the end of the season and have a high performance when he plays.

"After the season, we would like Stevan and all the squad to continue for next year, so I don't think it has any relation to anything else."

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Manuel Pellegrini, Stevan Jovetic