Pep Guardiola sends warning about Man City Champions League expectations
Pep Guardiola warned that Manchester City are not guaranteed anything this season as they go in search of the elusive Champions League trophy.
The club have failed to claim the European trophy in 10 attempts despite enjoying emphatic domestic success in that time, and expectations are even higher after the Blues reached the final for the first time last season.
Having broken new ground both as a group of players and under a manager who won the competition twice at Barcelona, City should be in a better position to go even further this time.
However, the message from Guardiola to his players this week has been to focus their thoughts solely on RB Leipzig rather than thinking about knockout football.
City are in a particularly tough group that also includes tournament favourites PSG. And, just as they have earned the right to European football through their domestic performances, so the manager does not want their best effort in the Champions League to give the squad any false impressions that they will breeze through to another final.
"The most important thing for the club is we were always in this competition in the last years. We do really well in the Premier League, which is why we deserve to be there," he said.
"After that, try to compete with the best teams in Europe. We did really well but now we start another one. It is not guaranteed that if you do a really bad Champions League season you're going to do a really bad Champions League season again and it is the same with the opposite: we did really well last season but it doesn't mean we are going to do well.
"We have to regain and fight to deserve to be in the next stages. The first target is to win tomorrow, try to continue the rhythm and the way we played last season and the last three games, and see what happens.
"After, we prepare Southampton and then Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool before the international break. Hopefully they come back from the national teams as healthy as we give them - that is my wish."