Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City have grounds for optimism in the title race because Chelsea are not a "winning machine all the time."
Jose Mourinho's Premier League leaders have a six-point advantage over defending champions City and a game in hand.
But they have only won six of their last 13 matches in all competitions and Pellegrini takes heart from City's record of coming from behind to win the title in two of the last three seasons.
"I don't think they are a winning machine all the time," he told reporters. "I think you ask me maybe two or three weeks before I am sure from now until the end of the season every team will drop points so it's important to return to our normal performance and win our games.
"After that we will see what happens with Chelsea. Maybe we can win all the games and maybe we can retain the title. The important thing is they must feel pressure. If you don't win it's easy for them. We depend just on these eight games at least to finish in the same position we are now.
"It's not just to finish in a proud way. Football has a lot of difficult moments. You never know what will happen when you have to play 24 points more.
"Last season in this game we were nine points behind Chelsea with three games in hand but we were also eight behind Arsenal. Especially in this league that is so easy for every team to beat another team."
City, who had lost four of their previous five games, returned to winning ways with a 3-0 triumph over 10-man West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
But, for the second successive home game, there was no place in the matchday 18 for midfielder Samir Nasri.
Pellegrini had brought the France international off at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona, when Nasri could have been shown a red card for a hack at Neymar and when he was criticised for failing to track back when Ivan Rakitic scored the game's only goal.
Pellegrini argued that he was perming from 20 fit senior players as he discussed Nasri's exclusion.
"He played against Barcelona for the first 45 minutes," he said. "In this moment we have the whole squad fit. Every game I have to leave two players out.
"In this case it was [Aleksandar] Kolarov and Nasri and Yaya [Toure] that was injured. When you have your whole squad [available] two or three should stay out and in this case it was Nasri.
"Of course [he was happy to accept it]. The most important thing is when you have the chance to take it and after that we can start next week with the whole squad absolutely convinced that every player is important if we want to win something."