London: Manchester City's Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini believes the appointment of Pep Guardiola to coach the English club from next season has negatively affected the team and damaged its chances to fight for the Premier League title.
The decision to replace Pellegrini with Guardiola, announced on February 1, was followed by two defeats against Leicester City 1-3 and Tottenham Hotspur 1-2, derailing Man City's bid for top place in the Premier League, reports Efe.
"It's not easy for the players when you read in newspapers all the things that will happen next season, all the players who will go out, all the players that will come in," Pellegrini said on Monday in an interview with Sky Sports.
The Chilean coach believes that the two defeats against Leicester and Tottenham "don't allow us now to be involved in the title".
Pellegrini pointed out that the announcement of the appointment of Guardiola led to many things that "involve the minds of all the players."
"We had those defeats at home. Now I think we are stable again and I'm very happy to finish the way we are doing in these last games," he added.
Pellegrini also said it was "strange" Sergio Aguero has never been player of the year in England after the Manchester City star's hat-trick secured a 3-0 win at Chelsea on Saturday.
Despite being one of the Premier League's most consistent goalscorers in recent seasons, Aguero has yet to win either the Football Writers' player of the year award or the equivalent honour from his peers in England's Professional Footballers' Association.
Aguero failed to make this week's shortlist for the 2016 PFA award.
It didn't seem to bother him as counter-attacking strikes either side of half-time, plus a penalty 10 minutes from the finish at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois was sent off for a foul on Fernandinho, took the Argentina striker's tally to 21 league goals so far this season.
"It's very strange that Sergio has played so many years here and has never been the best Premier League player here," said Pellegrini after a win that saw City stay four points clear of local rivals Manchester United in the race for a place in next season's Champions League.
"I think here, in the Premier League, we have very good players but without doubt Sergio is one of the best and so important," he added
Kevin de Bruyne was central to all of City’s best moves, setting up the first goal in what was his first league appearance at Stamford Bridge since Chelsea sold him to Wolfsburg in January 2014.
Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals on April 26.
City is currently in third place with 60 points, 13 points behind Premier League leaders Leicester and eight points after second-placed Tottenham.