Manuel Pellegrini: December is a key month, says Man City boss
Manuel Pellegrini believes December is a key month in the title race as his Manchester City side moved level on points with leaders Chelsea with a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
City were nine points adrift six games ago, have now won six successive games.
"It's a not a month to win the title, but if you want to be involved for the next months you must be near the top," he said.
"We have won six or seven games in a row and that gives a lot of belief."
He added: "The fight for the title was not just one team."
One bookmaker paid out last month on Chelsea winning the Premier League, but it appears the title race is at least a two-team battle, with Manchester United also closing in. Chelsea, with a game in hand, are away at Stoke on Monday.
City had to wait until the 49th minute to break the deadlock against Palace when David Silva scored via a big deflection off Scott Dann. The Spaniard doubled the lead with a well-placed effort, before Yaya Toure fired in a third in the final 10 minutes.
Pellegrini was once again without a senior striker to choose from, with top scorer Sergio Aguero, Eden Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic all out injured.
"I enjoyed the way the team worked the whole week - to work in a different way without strikers," added the Chilean.
"Palace are a team who know how to defend. It was a great job to score three goals. The way we had chances was by moving the ball.
"David Silva is a top player with lots of quality. We are not just Sergio Aguero - we work hard every day."
City have an opportunity to extend their winning run to nine games over the festive period, with West Brom away, before they play Burnley and Sunderland at home.