Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester Citys failure to maintain an interest in the title race was down to a number of factors and not solely on the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola. In February, Pellegrini himself made public the fact Bayern Munich coach Guardiola would be replacing him at the Etihad Stadium at the end of his three-year stint at the Allianz Arena.Citys form dipped almost immediately, losing three successive matches and falling well behind Leicester and Tottenham in the battle for Premier League supremacy. After Saturdays 3-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the Chilean claimed the early news of his departure had had a detrimental effect on the form of the players.But speaking ahead of Tuesdays match against relegation-threatened Newcastle, he clarified his remarks, saying: The mathematical reason we are not challenging for the title is because we lost three games in a row at the start of February. Pep Guardiola taking over from Pellegrini at City in the summer We lost to Leicester and Tottenham at home and Liverpool away and three defeats in a row like that is not normal in this team.When you are in charge of teams, when you are involved in the season, you are in charge of the group then I dont think it is right to try and find different reasons. There is a lot of reasons but the reality is at the moment that we are in third position, not fighting for the title but also that we continue with our winning mentality and try to win. City, who are now unbeaten in five matches and face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, lie 13 points behind leaders Leicester with five matches of the season remaining. Also See: Newcastle v Man City preview Kompany, Sterling boost for City Wholesale Shoes . He said Tuesday thats a big reason why he is now the new coach of the Tennessee Titans. Whisenhunt said he hit it off quickly with Ruston Webster when interviewing for the job Friday night. Cheap Shoes . Louis Cardinals. Victorino is batting sixth and playing right field after missing two games because of back tightness. http://www.shoeschinacheap.com/ . Numbers Game examines the deal that sees Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein switch places. The Predators Get: D Michael Del Zotto. Cheap Shoes China . How great will be revealed in the next couple of days at the board of governors meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif. DALLAS -- The Stars signed defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a two-year, $7.5 million contract in the opening hours of free agency Friday, providing another veteran to a strong young group on the blue line.Dallas also re-signed forward Patrick Eaves to a one-year deal and added a pair of defensemen in Andrew Bodnarchuk and Dustin Stevenson.The 33-year-old Hamhuis has split his 12-year career in two places, first with six seasons in Nashville and then six more in Vancouver. He has 303 points (55 goals, 248 assists) in 872 career games.Hamhuis joins Dallas as it appears set to replace two veterans at the blue line.Alex Goligoski signed with Arizona after the Stars traded his rights to them before the draft. Kris Russell is a free agent after coming to Dallas at the trading deadline to boost the defense for a team that ended up as the top seed in the Western Conference. The Stars lost to St. Louis in seven games in the second round.Last summer, the Stars signed 12-year veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya away from Chicago with a deal almost identical to the one Hamhuis signed.dddddddddddd Now the pair will lead a talented young core highlighted by John Klingberg and Stephen Johns.The Stars were inconsistent last season in front of their goalie tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi, and general manager Jim Nill reiterated Friday that he intends to bring back both goaltenders.Eaves had 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 54 games for Dallas last season, and recorded six points (three goals, three assists) in nine playoff games. The 32-year-old has 190 points (99 goals, 91 assists) in 545 career games.The 27-year-old Bodnarchuk had stints with Columbus and Colorado last season while also spending time with Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. The 26-year-old Stevenson spent last season with Stockton of the AHL. ' ' '
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