Pep Guardiola’s men only achieved the bare minimum in 2016-17, according to their Germany midfielder
Ilkay Gundogan admits that Manchester City believed they would achieve more than just automatic qualification for the Champions League last season.
City endured a largely disappointing campaign in Pep Guardiola’s first year in charge, finishing third in the Premier League, failing to win a trophy and being knocked out of Europe by Monaco in the last 16.
Gundogan feels the club achieved a minimum requirement by securing an automatic spot in next term’s group stage but concedes that the season as a whole cannot be considered successful.
“I’d say last season we achieved what we had to,” the midfielder told Sport Bild. “It was important to qualify directly for the Champions League. But of course, we expected more.
“We were very stable in our final games. There may be some changes but my main goal is to win titles.
“I have noticed that, for fans in England, the Premier League stands above the rest. For us players, the Champions League is certainly the biggest competition, also because City never won it before.”
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) July 12, 2017
Gundogan enjoyed a strong run of form before a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered against Arsenal in December saw him sidelined for the rest of the season.
The Germany international is now back in training and he hopes to be ready for the first few matches of 2017-18.
“If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I’m at 70 per cent right now,” said the 26-year-old. “I started to train with the team, although I can’t take part in every aspect of training yet.
“It doesn’t matter to me whether I am ready for the first or the fifth matchday; what’s important to me is that I feel confident and can give 100 per cent.”