Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has attempted to quell fears about his side’s form and the possibility of finishing second in Champions League Group D.
The Premier League side have only won two of their last six games in all competitions and are two points adrift of Juventus at the top of the standings.
That means they may be condemned to second place even if they are able to defeat Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday, as they would require a victory from Sevilla against Juve in the other game to claim top spot.
City have been eliminated in the last 16 by Barcelona in each of the last two seasons after finishing second in their pool.
“We will try to finish first but the most important thing is to qualify,” said Pellegrini.
“If you do not finish at the top of your group, I do not think it is disappointing – Chelsea, United and Arsenal would like to be in our position.
“I do not think we have to be always pessimistic about the draw. Maybe if you finish top, you can have a draw against a big team that finished second in its group.”
Pellegrini also rejected claims that City are not good enough when they do not have captain Vincent Kompany – currently out injured – in the team.
He continued: “I do not agree. The whole season there are a lot of games we played without our important players.
“Last season we finished the last six games without Vincent Kompany. We won the six and had four clean sheets. I analyse the performance of the players with them, not with the press.
“We did not do well against Tottenham or Liverpool and lost those games but we have had a lot of clean sheets also. We are just not a consistent team in some games.”