Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says it would be "a disaster" if the club missed out on Champions League qualification.
City are currently fourth in the Premier League heading into a Super Sunday clash with third-placed Arsenal, four points ahead of Manchester United having played a game more.
And after losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday, City are now in real danger of failing to deliver qualification for incoming manager Pep Guardiola.
Pellegrini said: "If you are not in the top four and in the Champions League the next year, to demonstrate you are one of the best teams in England, then for me it's a disaster of a season.
"That's why I always said last year, when we didn't win any titles, that it was not a disaster. It was not a good season but a disaster is when you are not involved in the next season's Champions League. That is a disaster for all the big teams."
"I always think in a positive way, so I hope that we are going to be in that top four position."
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Pellegrini rejected suggestions City had taken their eye off the Premier League ball to concentrate on Europe this season.
He said: "With continuing in the Champions League to the semi-finals, it is not easy to have your mind on both competitions but I think we did it, except in the game against Southampton. All the other games we won.
"If I was just worried about the Champions League I would change for all the games every important player.
"Except for the last game, because it was so important to arrive to the final and I made some changes, we put out a strong team. The last five games we won four and lost just one.
"It is very important for me also, so I don't understand those kind of speculations about that."
Despite failing to mount a serious challenge for the title this season, Pellegrini believes the campaign can be looked upon positively.
City won the Capital One Cup with a penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.
"You always feel that you can do it better, especially for me. I am disappointed not to win the Premier League this year because until February we were in our best moment to do it," Pellegrini said.
"But we won one title - the Capital One Cup - and I hope we are going to finish in a Champions League spot for next year. We reached the semi-finals of the Champions League; we couldn't continue in the FA Cup.
"It is a season I think you can improve on, but it was not a bad season."