Manuel Pellegrini says mistakes, not tactics, are reason for Man City's poor away form

Manuel Pellegrini: Insists City's tactics on the road are fine

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Manuel Pellegrini insists "mistakes" are the reason for Manchester City's poor away form, saying the tactics are fine.

City lie in eighth place in the Premier League table ahead of this Sunday's visit of Tottenham to the Etihad Stadium, where Pellegrini's troops have won all five league games so far, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two.

It is a different story away from home, however, with City having lost four of their six games, winning just once.

The City manager is "absolutely convinced" his tactics on their travels are fine, instead blaming individual errors for proving costly.

"It's not a question of tactics," Pellegrini told The National. "We've won just four points out of 18 away from Etihad, but I think we are not playing badly.

"If you review all the matches, we had a lot more chances than the home teams, but some individual mistakes stopped us from getting the three points. I am absolutely convinced by the way we're playing.

"I'm always thinking about our performances, not only when we've had a defeat but also when we win.

"Of course, the best thing before the international break is to win because then you've got 15 days without a match, and in our case we're left with just four or five players, no more, to prepare with during that time."

Spurs will arrive in Manchester with a decent away record, having won three of five games on the road.

But Pellegrini does not see Andre Villas-Boas' big spenders as realistic title rivals, adding: "The Premier League is very close this year - there are six clubs challenging, with very little difference between one team and another.

"We have a lot of points to fight for, and I think at the end it will be between Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City."