Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has made a controversial jibe at current Citizens boss Manuel Pellegrini, saying that the Chilean has been "lucky" to inherit such a strong squad and should be winning titles every season.
Mancini, now at Inter Milan, was sacked by Manchester City three years ago having won the FA Cup and Premier League during his time at the club, but Pellegrini has failed to take the club to the next level with the Blues continuing to struggle in Europe.
City are sinking fast in the Premier League title race with Arsenal and Liverpool breathing down their necks in second place, and go into Wednesday's Champions League second leg with Barcelona 2-1 down having been outclassed in their first encounter at the Etihad.
"Pellegrini was lucky because he got a strong team," Mancini said to CNN. "I think City should and must try to win a title every year."
Many have speculated that a trophyless season - which would be all but confirmed should Barça consolidate their victory at the Camp Nou tonight - would be enough to see the end of the Pellegrini era in the blue half of Manchester.
But the former Real Madrid manager, 61, claims that his position at the club remains secure despite a disappointing season.
"I respect all opinions but I don't think my seat is in danger," he responded. We're second in the Premier League, still playing strong and are going to fight to prove it."
Rafael Benítez and Carlo Ancelotti have been tipped as the favourites to succeed Pellegrini should he be removed from his post at the end of the season, but the Chilean remains optimistic that a victory against Barcelona could prove the catalyst for true progress on the European stage.
"It is very important for our team to prove we are one of the best teams in Europe but the only way to prove it is to beat a big team. That must be our mentality and this is our test."