Manchester City must improve in Champions League or risk failure, warns Mancini

The 47-year-old manager has stated the Premier League champions need to step up to the superior challenges of European competition if they are to be successful in the future

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes the club must improve their Champions League form or run the risk of being eliminated before the knockout stage for the second season running.

The Premier League champions went out in the group stages last year after being drawn in a tough group with eventual finalists Bayern Munich, and have a similar task ahead of them this term with Spanish champions Real Madrid triumphing 3-2 over the Blues in their opening group game.

And, while Mancini wants stronger performances from his side, he is confident they have enough quality to win the trophy this year - with German champions Borussia Dortmund up next on Wednesday.

20/1 Manchester City are 20/1 with Bet365 to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2

"This is the second year for us in the Champions League and the second year that we got the worst group," Mancini told reporters.

"Like we have improved [over the years] in the Premier League, we need time to improve in the Champions League, but we don't have a lot of time - only five more games, and we need to improve quickly."

With the club still relatively inexperienced at this level, Mancini dismissed claims over his own European education, stating: "I don't need to learn.

"The Champions League is a difficult competition, but football is the same.

"The problem is that you are always playing against the best team from another country and every game is difficult.

"I hope I can improve my record in the Champions League, and I think we have arrived at the time where we can win the Champions League."

And the coach is adamant his side must not "concede easy goals to drops points" as they did against Real Madrid, with two late goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo costing them a memorable victory at the Bernabeu.

Mancini also sought to assure Joleon Lescott he is still in his plans after the centre-back's position has come under increased scrutiny, with the English defender after missing out against Madrid.

"[Lescott] is one of the best defenders," Mancini added.

"But I have six or seven defenders and I made a different choice last week and in Madrid.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday] I will decide again, but Joleon is an important player for us."