Pellegrini insists Manchester City can win without Yaya Toure

Manuel Pellegrini has urged Manchester City to believe they can win without Yaya Touré after Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal became a fourth league game they have failed to do so in his absence.

Touré is away with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations so missed the 2-0 defeat, and was also not in the City sides that could only draw with Arsenal (in the reverse fixture), Everton and Burnley earlier this season.

After Saturday’s visit of Middlesbrough in the FA Cup City travel to Chelsea next in the league, on 31 January. With the loss to Arsenal allowing José Mourinho’s team to stretch their lead to five points Pellegrini admitted the match at Stamford Bridge is key to City’s hopes of defending the title.

While Touré will be unavailable until next month, Pellegrini urged City to be positive until the 31-year-old returns. “He is very important player for us,” the manager said. “But for the moment we must continue playing and not thinking it is impossible to win without him because I don’t think this team depends on just one player.”

Credit: Jamie Jackson/Guardian Sport