“We lost two games at home against Leicester and Tottenham, at the same moment that everyone announced what would happen next year. 

“I think the atmosphere was not the best to fight for the title.”

Pellegrini still spoke of his affection for City and the club’s supporters and reflected on “a very special day” that concluded with him presenting his suit jacket to a fan in the away end at the behest of Yaya Toure.

The former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss – who has been linked with a return to La Liga at Valencia next term – also feels City’s cup exploits mean that have enjoyed a satisfactory campaign.

“If you analyse season we won Capital One Cup, we reached for the first time the semi-final of Champions League,” he said. “Maybe we didn’t play well, but only difference with Real Madrid [in the semi-final] was an own goal in our goal.

“Before then, unfortunately, we couldn’t continue in the FA Cup. We had to prioritise one competition because we had too many injuries in that moment that we couldn’t recover completely.

“If you add all those things I think it’s a good season; not a very, very good season, but a good>