Champions League

Pellegrini: City can win CL

2014-11-04 19:02
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

London - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Tuesday voiced belief that his side can win the Champions League this season, despite their perilous current position in Group E.

City have collected only two points from their opening three games and trail group leaders Bayern Munich by seven points ahead of Wednesday's home game with CSKA Moscow.

With second-place Roma also two points better off, City no longer have any margin for error, but Pellegrini believes that getting out of the group should be the English champions' minimum ambition.

"Of course our target is always to try to win the Champions League. We must put in our mind that we are able to do it, that we have a good squad," the Chilean told Tuesday's pre-game press conference in Manchester.

"Maybe there are five or six squads better than our squad or at the same level as our squad that also want to do it, but with a winning mentality and an ambitious mind, you must always think you can do it.

"I think we have time to prove it."

After playing Russian champions CSKA, City host German heavyweights Bayern on November 25 before visiting Roma for a thorny final fixture on December 10.

But although failure to beat CSKA will take City's destiny out of their hands, Pellegrini does not believe that it is a game his side have to win at any cost.

"I think it is a very important game, but it is not a 'death' game because until mathematics can't fix (it), you can continue," he said.

"We must win this game because we have just two points and we have three games to play and it is very important to have more points. But we will consider it not a final game, but a very, very important game."

With Bayern expected to win the group, Pellegrini is prepared for City's bid to reach the last 16 to go down to the wire.

"It will depend what the other teams do and it is impossible to be sure, but I think this group will be decided in the last game in Italy against Roma," he said.

"We will see what happens. We are going to try to win our two games at home and see what the other teams do, but I am sure this will be decided in the last game."

City will be without David Silva (knee), Aleksandar Kolarov (calf) and Frank Lampard (thigh) against CSKA, but Eliaquim Mangala (hip) has been passed fit after missing Sunday's 1-0 win over Manchester United.

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