Manchester City's UEFA Champions League exit will not damage the club's pursuit of other honours this season, insists an upbeat Joleon Lescott.
The 29-year-old defender admitted that it was disappointing to end the club's debut campaign in Europe's top-tier competition at the first hurdle, but says there is still plenty for the Citizens to look forward to in 2011-12.
Roberto Mancini's men sit five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, and have a Carling Cup semi-final clash with Liverpool to look forward to after Christmas.
City's defence of the FA Cup will begin with a third round clash against rivals Manchester United, and there is the possibility of both clubs going head-to-head again for the Europa League crown, after both teams dropped into the competition following third place finishes in their respective UEFA Champions League groups.
"This won't come into it," said Lescott. "We haven't focused on our Premier League form after Champions League games, we have just taken each game as it comes.
"There is importance in every game we play and we are still in four competitions. Obviously with the Champions League, it would have been nice to qualify, but the Europa League would still sit comfortably on the mantelpiece."
Lescott expects his teammates to learn from their UEFA Champions League experience this season, and come back even stronger next year.
"We're obviously very disappointed," he continued. "The goal was to get through to the knockout stage and it wasn't to be. But we weren't a seeded team and we knew we were going to get a tough group.
"If you look on paper Napoli are a good team and Bayern are there every year. We knew it would be tough to qualify.
"We have got a high number of players who have played in the Champions League before but, as a unit, it was our first time.
"If we can gain from this experience I am sure that when next year comes around we will be better prepared."News Now - Sport News