Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan insists last season’s disheartening Champions League exit will not provide an extra source of motivation this year.
The Premier League leaders resume their latest challenge in Europe’s elite competition as they face Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Budapest on Wednesday.
City placed themselves among the favourites as they eliminated Real Madrid at the same stage last year, only to go out in disappointing fashion to Lyon in a one-legged quarter-final.
Gundogan said: “It is not something that is forgotten, to be honest, but it is not something that gives us any extra motivation.
“It is a new year, a new option, a new chance and a new challenge. We just try to do our best, as we did in the past.
“We didn’t do less in the past, we just made mistakes which led to these outcomes. Our motivation is there, as it was in the past, and we just try to do our best.”
City are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and still involved in two domestic cup competitions, as well as the Champions League.
Gundogan, however, is not entertaining quadruple talk.
He said at a press conference: “It is nothing that I have thought about until you just mentioned it and will not be thinking (it) in (the) next few weeks.
“If it happens I will take it but it is not something I think about.”
Manager Pep Guardiola also denied the Lyon result was a significant factor in his planning for the game.
Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference: “We played better than Lyon. We lost but we played better. We’re going to try to play better this time and win the game.
“We’re going to play this like we’ve played the last games this season, in all competitions – nothing special.
“A football game is 90 minutes. We’re going to try to win, to get a good result and then afterwards we are going to think about West Ham on Saturday.
“This is the only target. It’s the same process as I’ve said to the players for a long time – think of the next one and then, after that, the next one.”
Source: Andy Hampson