Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he’s under pressure to ensure the club go further than the first knockout round in the UEFA Champions League this season, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Citizens have invested heavily in their squad this summer with the arrivals of Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi, which has taken their spending spree to almost £100million as Pellegrini looks to assemble a squad capable of lasting the distance at home and abroad.
Progress in Europe has so far eluded City as they have been knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Liga BBVA giants Barcelona in successive seasons and have generally failed to replicate their domestic form in club football’s elite competition.
Pellegrini, who led Villarreal to the semi-final of the competition 10 seasons ago, admits time is running out for his current side to make an impression in Europe:
“If we have to improve in one tournament it is the Champions League because the last two seasons we lost about Barcelona,” the Chilean said.
“But we have to think about Real – they stayed 30 years without winning the Champions League. We try to improve all the time but the Champions League is not easy to win,” Pellegrini.
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City will find out next week who their opponents in the group stage will be and they could be paired with one of Juventus, Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain.