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Manuel Pellegrini warns players against complacency

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned his side against complacency ahead of their opening Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen.

The Sky Blues' last two European campaigns have both ended in disappointment with City failing to make it past the group stages.

And Pellegrini has warned his side that they must respect their Czech opponents on Tuesday or risk a similar fate in this year's competition. 

"I think that all groups are difficult. It would be a big mistake to think that playing a team with less history in Europe would be easier to play," said the Chilean, who celebrates his 60th birthday today.

"We can’t be satisfied with the names of the teams we will face, but we will qualify if we play well. I think that any team can beat any other team in their group.

"And one thing is sure, that last season when the draw took place, Milan and FC Zenit St Petersburg were happy to be drawn against Malaga, and they felt they’d already qualified for the next round.

"But Malaga then went on to win the group. So it is the same now, this season."

Pellegrini has lead a variety of Champions League campaigns with former clubs and has experience in the competition, which was one of the key reasons for his appointment at the Etihad.

He guided an unheralded Villarreal to the 2006 semi-final and Málaga to last year's quarter-finals in the club's first outing in the competition.

"This is my fifth year in the Champions League and I am very happy about my last campaigns," he added. 

"It is not easy to make it with a team like Villarreal and reach the semi-finals, or to make it to a quarter-final. The same happened with Malaga when we managed to make it into the quarter-finals.

"I think that the most important aspect is to make the players feel that they have the capacity, and feel the confidence to compete against teams at the same level, considering all the tactical aspects.

"But I have always repeated the same sentence to my players if we are eliminated in the Champions League, then it is because we faced a team that was superior to us and who played better than us and not because they faced a bad team and were eliminated without any effort.

"So it has been three years now that the club hasn’t done well in Europe, and I think that if we want to qualify, we have to respect Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Moscow, and Bayern Munich the same way, and will try to put in our best performance to beat them."

City will be looking to improve on their dismal Champions League ventures of recent years, where they've twice failed to qualify from the group stages. Many speculate that it was this factor that played heavily in the sacking of Roberto Mancini, and so Pellegrini will be looking to guarantee at least some measure of success.

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Topics:
Manchester City
UEFA Champions League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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