Pellegrini: Guardiola appointment no excuse for City

Since announcing in February that Guardiola will replace Pellegrini at the end of the season, Manchester City's form in the English Premier League has suffered. But manager Manuel Pellegrini warned his players that it cannot be held as an excuse.

Manuel Pellegrini: "We have to play another eight games. It's not in this moment a bad season."

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said his side must avoid using the announcement of Pep Guardiola's arrival next season as an excuse for its poor second half to the campaign. Since announcing in February that Guardiola will replace Pellegrini at the end of the season, City's form has suffered.

The club is 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 has already secured silverware this season, having won the League Cup, and has reached its first ever Champions League quarterfinal. City lost the Manchester derby last time out and is looking to bounce back when it travels to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

'Must be motivated'

"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]."