PARIS Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino admits his team remains far from its best following the arrival of Lionel Messi in the summer, as the French club get ready to face Manchester City in a blockbuster Champions League clash on Tuesday.
“It is a fact, not an opinion, that we are a work in progress. There needs to be some common sense. That is not up for debate,” Pochettino said at Monday’s pregame press conference in Paris.
PSG were widely criticized for their performance in drawing their opening Champions League Group A match away to Club Brugge in Belgium a fortnight ago while City trounced RB Leipzig 6-3. That means failure to beat Pep Guardiola’s team at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday will put them in a potentially tricky position, at least when it comes to advancing top of their group. City beat PSG in the semi-finals last season before losing to Chelsea in the final.
“We will be playing against Manchester City who have in my opinion the best coach in the world in Pep Guardiola,” said Pochettino. “They are also building and their dream is also to win the Champions League -- it is never an obligation because there are 10 or 12, maybe even 15 teams, trying to do the same thing.
“It is a dream for us too. This club is 50 years old and has always been looking to establish itself as the best in Europe but it is a process that needs patience, time and investment. “Manchester City are far ahead of us in the process, but this is a game of football and anything can happen.” Messi is expected to return to the side after sitting out PSG’s last two matches in Ligue 1 with a minor knee problem. Italian playmaker Marco Verratti could also return after almost a month out, but Angel Di Maria is still suspended following his sending-off in last season’s semi-final. — AFP