Ex-Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has admitted he expects huge backlash from critics if his team fails to get ahead to a good start in tonight’s Champions League Round of 16 battle with Monaco.
The two-time winner of the competition hopes his players will ‘embrace the moment’ and qualify for the club’s only second semi-final in history.
“To be here is not easy.” Guardiola said. “I want to convince the players to enjoy that moment. It’s beautiful.
“People think Manchester City have to be here but a lot of big clubs are not here. We are lucky guys. Our recent history is quite good but over the long history, Manchester City was not there for a long time.
“All of Europe will watch us, to analyse us, to kill us if we don’t win or say how good we are if we do.”
Guardiola has experienced tough times since his arrival in England, failing to launch a title-bid in his first season, despite coming from a title-winning season with Bayern in a hugely successful three-year period in Germany.
Manchester City will go into the game without Vincent Kompany, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan, but will count on an in-form Kevin De Bryune, who has scored five goals in 32 appearances this season.