Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini switched his focus to conquering Europe on Sunday after his side’s Premier League ambitions took another dent at the weekend.
City’s barnstorming start to the English soccer season, producing five straight wins, is in danger of becoming a fading memory after consecutive defeats by West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur allowed Manchester United to knock them off the top of the table.
Those two defeats were preceded by a jolting home loss to Juventus in City’s Champions League opener, but Pellegrini is convinced the club will recover and soon triumph in Europe’s blue riband competition.
“I am sure that Manchester City will win the Champions League in the future because the whole club works well,” the Chilean was quoted as saying in the Manchester Evening News.
“We are younger than the teams who normally win the Champions League over the last 10 years. Our team has only arrived in the last few years and we are improving every season.”
City’s huge transfer spending to become established as one of the Premier League powerhouses has not translated into any great impact on the European stage. They reached the last 16 of the Champions League in the past two seasons and failed to progress beyond the group stage in the previous two attempts.
While focused on improving that record, Pellegrini says the Champions League should not be prioritised at the expense of getting their domestic form back on track.
“Being champions of Europe must not be an obsession here. Manchester United, in the whole period of Alex Ferguson, when he was the best manager in the club’s history, only won the Champions League twice in 27 years,” Pellegrini said.