London: Manuel Pellegrini shrugged that he was "not worried about Chelsea" despite seeing his Manchester City team fall further behind the Premier League leaders at the end of a dispiriting week for both the Chilean and his champions.
Only another brilliant performance from Sergio Aguero, who scored twice to take his season`s league-leading tally to 12, enabled City to rescue a point in a pulsasting 2-2 draw at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
After the potentially calamitous midweek Champions League reverse at home to CSKA Moscow, which leaves them bottom of their group and staring at another early European elimination, the draw means City are now eight points adrift of Chelsea in third place as they seek to defend their domestic crown.
It was a result which only heaps more pressure on Pellegrini, who was on Saturday installed by one British bookmaker, William Hill, as a 5-6 odds on shot not be in charge at the Etihad at the end of the season.
Yet despite only an 83rd-minute equaliser from Aguero preventing a fourth defeat for City in their last five games, the ever-phlegmatic Pellegrini sounded unfazed by City`s current mishaps.
Asked if he was concerned about the growing gap behind Jose Mourinho`s pacesetters, he said: "I`m not worried about Chelsea. They are in a very good moment and we will see if they continue to the end of the year. We have a lot of games to play.
"I think we are in a very unlucky moment. We`re not playing very, very well but I think we had enough chances to win this game."
He admitted, though, the forthcoming international break would be a welcome chance for him to reassess and for the side to regroup.
Pellegrini was adamant that City`s confidence levels remained the same and he was full of praise for the manner in which his side came from behind and "continued to fight until the last minute to try to win".
Once again it was Aguero who earned his warmest plaudits. "He is fantastic. He managed to have all the QPR defence in trouble every time he got the ball. It really was a great performance from Sergio."
Despite Pellegrini feeling City were unlucky, the Rangers` players could justifiably claim the same about their own misfortune, with Charlie Austin, who opened the scoring, having two other earlier efforts disallowed in the space of less than a minute.
The first header was for a clear offside but the second strike was only ruled out when City keeper Joe Hart, who had scuffed the ball straight to Austin from a free kick, was reprieved only because he had somehow contrived to kick the ball twice, initially with his standing foot, in the area.
Still, when Austin finally got on the scoresheet for his sixth goal of the season, with England manager Roy Hodgson watching, it was bound to prompt further speculation about his chances of an international call-up.
Yet QPR manager Harry Redknapp, while feeling his striker`s time would come, suggested it would be "nonsense" for him to currently push the case for Austin`s selection.
Rangers` point was well deserved but Redknapp admitted to feeling disappointed, after Martin Demichelis`s own goal made it 2-1, that they did not go on to win.
"We`re playing well. If we continue to do that, we`ve got a great chance of staying up," he said, comntemplating a table in which only Burnley lie below them.