sport

Pellegrini focused on Fulham

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists his only focus is on Saturday's visit of bottom side Fulham despite upcoming games against three of the Premier League's biggest clubs.

City strengthened their status as title favourites last week as they won at Hull while Chelsea slipped to defeat at Aston Villa.

Pellegrini's side have to travel to Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool inside the next three weeks but first entertain a Cottagers outfit fighting for their Premier League safety.

He said: "I think it is just a very tough game. All the teams in the last position - not only in the relegation positions but in the last position in the table in the second round (of fixtures) - try to add points everywhere.

"A team like Fulham are used to defending and with Felix Magath - he always plays his teams with a lot of intensity - I am sure we need to work very hard during the 95 minutes if we want to win.

"That is why we start a very important week, but the most important game in this week is Fulham.

"I am talking to the players, trying to convince all of them it is always a difficult game.

"Maybe for important games, with the most important teams, the motivation is alone - you don't need to talk too much.

"But in these kind of games, it is very important to play from the beginning as a final."

Victory in Hull took City within six points of leaders Chelsea with three games in hand.

Despite that, Pellegrini is refusing to endorse any favourites' tag and he added: "We continue in the fight for the title with all the other teams.

"We have to play the three games we have in hand and we will see how we play those games, but at the moment I think the four teams have the same options.

"You have to win the games (in hand) so the important thing is it just depends on what we do in the future."