Champions League: Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City face 'difficult' group challenge
Last Updated: 30/08/14 9:21am
Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City will concentrate on qualifying from another tough UEFA Champions League group rather than complaining about the rules.
The Premier League champions were again seeded lower than Chelsea and Arsenal when the draw was made in Monaco on Thursday and must come through a group featuring Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma.
It is the third time in four years City have been drawn with Bayern, and last season was the first time they managed to reach the knockout phase.
He said: "Maybe other draws aren’t as difficult as ours but that doesn’t matter.
"It's the rules of the draw, maybe there are different systems but now there is one system and there’s nothing we can do to change that.
"Last year we lost the first position on goal difference, we hope with the trust that we’ve qualified before, we will progress.
"I think it’s a similar group to last year, a difficult group. With Roma also in a group, it’s difficult but we must play and try to qualify."
The immediate priority for Pellegrini is Saturday's home game against Stoke as City aim to maintain a 100% start to the defence of their title.
Monday's convincing defeat of Liverpool means expectations at the Etihad are high, and the manager said: "We are a strong team, the same as five or six other clubs in England. We don't have a problem with that expectation. We need to win and we will try to win always.
"Of course, I am absolutely sure we are going to have a lot of problems against a difficult team like Stoke. Last year, in our best moment, we won just 1-0 at home.
"In the first two games, they have just one draw but I am sure they are going to come here to try and do a tough game, and we need to play very well if we are to win."
Pellegrini confirmed there have been no offers for Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards and John Guidetti, none of whom are in City's squad for the season.