"Everything I say and do are mind games. The only thing that is not mind games are the results," he told reporters on Friday.
The Portuguese coach had a glint in his eye when he described his side as "a little horse that needed milk" in a race with the "two big horses" of Arsenal and second-placed City.
His stance has now softened because Mourinho acknowledged that Chelsea could land the crown in May although he maintained they were outsiders.
"I'm not saying we're not going to win. I'm saying we are candidates, we're outsiders," he said on the eve of Saturday's home league game with Newcastle United.
"We are there because we are doing very well or because maybe Man City and Arsenal are not doing as well as they should with the conditions they have."
"We are not a squad like Man City's with every player in the best moment of their careers of the age of stability between 25 and their 30s, all of them working together for a long time, a manager (Manuel Pellegrini) that arrived and the team was there ready for him.
"We are different. We are beginning. Of course we dream to win the Premier League and if we have the chance to win we're not going to say we don't want to but we don't have the same responsibilities."
Pellegrini brushed off that suggestion by pointing out that Chelsea have been one of the one of heaviest spenders of recent times.
The Chilean said: "Maybe it is a small horse if the manager thinks like that. It can be a little horse, but very rich.
"This is the team that has spent most money in the last 10 years, is the team that spent most money this year and the team that spent the most money in the transfer window. So, little - but rich."
It was a strong counter-reaction from Pellegrini, coming soon after Mourinho also spoke about the "dodgy" attitude some clubs - possibly City - had towards financial fair play.
It was also the first time Pellegrini had responded this season to Mourinho, with whom he has a perceived rivalry dating back to when the Portuguese succeeded him at Real Madrid in 2010.
In previous weeks he has refused to engage in the mind games of the Stamford Bridge chief.
Mourinho went on to say on Monday that City remain the title favourites, but Pellegrini insists Chelsea - after beating the Citizens twice this term - cannot be written off.
Pellegrini said: "He has shown in the last two games (against us) he has a strong team with some great players.
"I think he is favourite. He thinks if he wins he will have the merits but if he loses he does not have responsibility.
"It is the way he acts. Everyone acts the way he thinks is better for the team.
"I think it will be very close with Chelsea and Arsenal. Arsenal are the favourites because they have two points' lead in the table.
"Of the 24 games we have played, Arsenal have been top of the table for 16 or 17. They have an important advantage.
"I am sure the three will fight to the end for the title."