Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has put the focus on performance and not prizes following his side’s 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday.
City overcame Liverpool in the Capital One Cup final last weekend but the Reds gained instant revenge with a Premier League win.
The loss at Anfield has put a huge dent in the Blues’ title aspirations, as even a win from their game in hand would leave Pellegrini’s men seven points adrift of leaders Leicester with time running out.
City’s top-four hopes are also in the balance as fifth-placed Manchester United have joined them on 47 points, but Pellegrini does not want his players to think about what they could achieve when the season ends.
Instead, the Chilean has urged his side to focus on improving their performances as then the results will come, and he accepts they have not been at the required level of late.
“The most important thing is to recover our performance in the Premier League, and show the performance we showed in the last two games in the Champions League and the Capital One Cup, and try to win as many points as we can,” he said.
“I am not thinking about the title and not thinking about not to qualify for the Champions League. It is important to think in the next game at home to Aston Villa we need to win because we lost the last three in the Premier League.
“From the beginning of the (Liverpool) match I saw our team was not fresh.
“We had not recovered from the last week with the Champions League game [at Dynamo Kiev] with the travel from Ukraine and the game on Sunday [Capital One Cup final].”
City are 1.18 to beat Aston Villa in Manchester on Saturday and 8.00 to win the Premier League outright.