Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini feels that Barcelona and Real Madrid should be hoping they don’t draw his Sky Blues in the next round of the Champions League, as the Chilean boss feels his squad could pull off the upset and send the Spanish sides packing.
In a recent press conference, Pellegrini is confident that his side will have a deep run in the competition, just like his Malaga side did last season and the Spaniards would be wise to respect them.
“Spain has strong teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid especially, but also Atletico Madrid are having a very good season. But I’m not afraid of who we are going to play in the next round. It’s not a major problem. Anything can happen in two games. We have a strong squad.
“People might say it’s difficult for us to play against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico – or Paris Saint-Germain are another team we could face. But all of them would not be happy to play against us.
“I trust this squad a lot so I hope they can continue in the Champions League. It’s important to be strong mentally. Also it’s important to be a winning, ambitious team. Mixing good players with ambition is the best way to try to win.
“Of course, these are teams are beatable. They are strong teams and have worked for a lot of years.
“This club is just starting to think and to work as a big team, bringing in very good players. It has a very important history, but in the last four years they have been trying to have the power to fight with the most important clubs. We are going the right way and I’m absolutely sure we can beat any other team. The most important thing is to have the right mentality.
“The players must feel they can do important things, have the ambition to win. Not only in the Premier League, but also in the Champions League and Capital One Cup. These players should have targets.”
Pellegrini concluded by admitting he breathed a sigh of relief after qualifying for the knockout round as their upcoming match against Bayern Munich will be in the middle of Premier League matches against top sides Southampton and Arsenal.
“When we qualified I felt relief because I knew it was so important for the club to do it. That was the first target.
“I don’t think we need to worry about anything else. Maybe the game before and game after in the Premier League will be more important.”