And Jagielka, who made his comeback after two months out with a knee injury in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Dagenham and Redbridge, called for calm ahead of a key week in which Everton play City and Chelsea.

“It has been difficult but it is not just down to the defenders,” said the 33-year-old. “Some of the goals we conceded could have been stopped at source so it is frustrating.

“The actual performances we have been putting in have been pretty good but anything that could go wrong went wrong.

“It has been a test of character. We have a lot of young lads, they are lads that have not been here a long time and it is all part of their character growing at such a great club.

“There is no panic button being pressed. There are a few things that need working on, we need to iron them little things out now and have a progressive second half of the season.”

Pellegrini, meanwhile, is aware that City are entering a potentially decisive period of their campaign as they continue to battle on four fronts.

“It is always our aim at this club to be involved in all four competitions and January is a key month not only for the Premier League, but also for both domestic cups,” he said.

“We have the second leg of the Capital One semi-final, we must try to continue in the next round of the FA Cup and in the Premier League it is important for us to close the gap on the two teams above us now because in February we start again in the Champions League.

“We have two home games in the Premier League, against Everton and Crystal Palace, and we must focus on those.”

City will assess the fitness of Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) and Wilfried Bony (calf), while captain Vincent Kompany (calf) is still out along with long-term absentee Samir Nasri (hamstring).

As well as Lukaku, Everton have a number of players whose injury status is uncertain, including Tom Cleverley, Steven Naismith (both ankles) and Ramiro Funes Mori (head). Seamus Coleman (ankle) and James McCarthy (groin) remain unavailable.