Manchester City head to Spain next week hoping to take another stride towards a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have got their latest European challenge back on track following opening-night defeat to Juventus with back-to-back – and last-gasp - victories over Borussia Monchengladbach and Sevilla.
Those wins have lifted them to second in Group D, a point behind leaders Juve. They will look to enhance their position further by securing another good result against Europa League winners Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Tuesday.
The Champions League has never been straightforward for City with group-stage exits in their first two seasons in the competition followed by last-16 losses to Barcelona in their last two attempts.
This term their draw has been tough and their performances not wholly convincing but midfielder Yaya Toure feels the club are on the right path under Pellegrini.
Pellegrini, who won the Barclays Premier League title in his first season at the Etihad Stadium, was appointed in the summer of 2013 partly because of his European pedigree.
Toure, one of the cornerstones of City’s successes of past four years, said: “He’s done brilliantly well in his three seasons here. The club and the fans are very satisfied with the way we play. The Champions League has been difficult but it’s a big target this season. We have progressed very well with him.
“When I came to this club I came to lift trophies. For a long time City had been in the shadow of (Manchester) United. We are delighted that the fans are so happy now. First with the FA Cup, then with the Premier League and after that the league and cup double.
“We want to continue like that. We know that to be a big club we must continue winning important trophies and making our imprint in Europe. If we do that people will say Manchester City is one of the great clubs.”
Pellegrini took both Villarreal and Malaga to the latter stages of the competition either side of a short stint at Real Madrid.
City are hoping the Chilean can replicate that success while another of the qualities that saw him brought in to succeed Roberto Mancini was his man-management. It is on that front Toure believes the 62-year-old has perhaps made his biggest impression.
Toure said: “He is a very clever manager who always backs his players. He comes and chats with you and is very open with you – not just with me but with all the players. He gets the best out of the players.
“He knows how to get the best out of our young players too and he’s the kind of manager we have to have at this club. We are all grateful and happy to work for him.”