Manuel Pellegrini is feeling the heat at Manchester City
Manuel Pellegrini is feeling the heat at Manchester City as the Premier League's bacon slicer begins to crank into action.
An abject 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday saw City relinquish top spot in the Premier League to neighbours Manchester United and, following an under-par previous season, the spotlight is once again the Chilean.
Pellegrini - fully aware that top bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp are available for hire - struck a defiant figure after his side's third defeat in four games by claiming that City are destined to conquer Europe with a squad to compare with Barcelona's current champions.
City face German side Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday and Pellegrini knows that another defeat could edge him nearer the Etihad exit door, having lost their first Champions League group game at home to Juventus a fortnight ago.
"I am sure that Manchester City will win the Champions League in the future because the whole club works well," he said.
"But being champions of Europe must not be an obsession here. Manchester United, in the whole period of Sir Alex Ferguson, when he was the best manager in the club's history, only won the Champions League twice in 27 years."
Pellegrini is confident that his side can recover from defeat to Juventus in their opening game in this year's competition, and is already looking ahead to the knockout stages.
Referring ot the fact that City have crashed out of the Champions League to Barcelona twice in two seasons, he said: "I hope that this year we will be luckier with the draw. One day we are going to be a strong team, like Barcelona are today," he added.
Pellegrini, however, is currently trying to manage without the spine of his team as goalkeeper Joe Hart, centre-back Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure are out injured.