Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has criticised his side for not having the “spirit” to beat teams in the Champions League.
The Italian watched his side give up one-goal lead against Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday and then go on to get beaten 3-1 with a performance that was littered with defensive errors.
The Etihad Stadium club now have very little chance of making it out of the group and is likely to be the second season running that they have fallen at this stage, something Mancini believes is down to the atmosphere within the group.
“If you have spirit you have quality to play Champions League. If not, you can't. This is the problem,” he is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
The former Inter Milan boss has been criticised in the aftermath of the defeat for moving from a back four to a back three and causing confusion amongst the City defence with a system they were unfamiliar with.
However, Mancini dismissed that notion by claiming tactics become secondary late in a game such as that and that Manchester City would now be sitting in a much better position if they had the spirit to battle through in those types of situations.
“It is not important, the tactics. When you play this game you should have good spirit,” he added.
“We are a young club for the Champions League. This is the second time that we play. I think we need to work more for the Champions League.”
The loss leaves City with just a single point after three games, so they will need to win all remaining fixtures if they are to have any chance of progressing to the next round.