Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has stated that the club’s injury list was to blame after his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke yesterday.
The Premier League title hopefuls were without a number of key players including Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure for the trip to the Britannia Stadium.
A Marco Arnautovic double sealed victory for Mark Hughes, who will have relished the opportunity to pile misery on his former employers.
Pellegrini has stated that there is fatigue in his group of players due to the absence of the ability to rotate his team.
“We are playing in other competitions with the same 13 or 14 players,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports.
“For me, seeing the game, without doubt they didn’t recover from the last two games.
“In this game we are playing with the same players in the last three games – maybe it’s the reason why we didn’t play with the energy that we need to win.”
City have now lost four Premier League games but remain in the hunt for top spot.
The defeat sees the Etihad Stadium outfit drop to third, with Arsenal leapfrogging them after a 3-1 win over Sunderland and Leicester sitting pretty in first place.
Pellegrini’s men take on German side Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League in midweek before welcoming Swansea next weekend.