By 90Min
October 22, 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims his side are still "not ready" to compete for the Champions League trophy this season, stressing they need to improve before the can become European champions.

City have been knocked out of Europe's elite competition at the quarter-final stage in each of the past two seasons, having been beaten by the eventual runners-up Liverpool in 2018 an Tottenham earlier this year.

The reigning Premier League champions are once again being tipped among the favourites for the title this season, but Guardiola has claimed his side aren't necessarily in a position to win the competition.

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"The people say about the Champions League, that target. We still are not ready," Guardiola said, quoted by AS.

"We create a lot, don't concede, but can improve. We've scored a lot over the last two seasons and I don't have doubts about that, but we have to keep going, work on that."

Manchester City return to Champions League football on Tuesday where they'll host Italian side Atalanta, looking to extend their perfect record in the competition and their lead at the top of Group C.

La Dea are without a win in the Champions League so far and are come into the game off the back of a disappointing result in Serie A, where they threw away a three-goal lead to draw in the Italian capital against Lazio.

Manchester City will make a handful of changes following their win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, with all eyes on what role Gabriel Jesus will have to play after the Brazil international scored his 50th goal for the club.

Guardiola spoke in glowing terms about the Brazilian ahead of the match, adding that fans are only now starting to see him at his best after injuries stunted the early stages of his career at City.

"[Jesus] will have a long career and with his mentality always he will have success. He is hungry, he will become an important striker around the world and we are lucky to have him," Guardiola added.

"Gabriel was always good from the beginning. Unfortunately, he had the two tough injuries. Last season it was tough for him, after the World Cup it was not easy, but he is strong.

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"He is a number nine for Brazil. The club brought an incredible, young player for an incredible price. One of the best signings.

"To compete with Sergio [Agüero] is maybe the most difficult thing. Sergio is a legend, an outrageous player - amazing, but Gabriel is so calm.

"He is a competitor, he accepts the decision and every training session he fights like an animal, but he is so young and can improve."

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