Pep Guardiola says his impressive Champions League record does not mean Manchester City are guaranteed to succeed in the competition this season.
In seven seasons as coach of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the 45-year-old won the Champions League twice and never failed to reach the semi-finals.
City have reached this season’s knockout stage with a game to spare.
“It looks like it is always easy but everything is so complicated,” said Guardiola.
The Spaniard’s side will finish second in Group C, meaning they will avoid Bayern when the draw for the last 16 is made on 12 December.
Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are potential opponents, along with Monaco, who will finish top of the group from which Tottenham were eliminated.
City reached the semi-finals last season, having never previously gone past the last-16 stage.
“We are talking about Manchester City having to reach the semi-finals but there are so many good teams in Europe,” said Guardiola.
“To get to the quarter-finals is not normal. When you arrive at the semis or the final, it is exceptional.
“Our level now is that we need to get to the knockout rounds as a minimum, yet six years ago it had never happened.”
City will go top of the Premier League, albeit possibly briefly, if they win at Burnley on Saturday (12:30 GMT).
The Blues have won only three of their past 11 games in all competitions but have won five of their past six league matches.
“Including qualifiers, we have played seven games in the Champions League and we are there with the top teams like Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham and Manchester United, who are getting better so are now a real contender to win the Premier League.”