David Silva has emphasised the need for patience from Manchester City fans ahead of the crucial Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
The Premier League champions enter the fixture as the bottom-placed club in Group B and face almost certain elimination from the competition having collected just two points from their opening four games.
Silva, though, highlighted the club’s status as relative newcomers to the competition as a means for keeping expectations grounded and pointed to external pressures from some sections.
“Three seasons ago we were fighting to qualify for the Champions League and now they demand that we win it,” Silva told Radio MARCA.
“People have to be patient. We know that we should have played better in Europe so far. All we can do is look to the future. We’re going to play to win, although we know that Madrid is looking to win too.
“Manchester City and Real Madrid are quite similar teams, although Madrid has Champions League pedigree and we’re just starting out.
“Madrid and [Barcelona] are the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy, but let’s not forget about Bayern or Chelsea.”
The 26-year-old was keen to underline his happiness at City and his desire to add to the honours he has already collected at the Etihad Stadium.
“I don’t feel like the leader, just another member of the team,” he continued. “When I play I feel important. Work is good here and I have a quiet life, that’s why I signed a new deal.
“I’m very happy in Manchester, happy to have won the Premier League, but eager to win the Champions League.”
Silva was applauded off the field by the Real fans in September’s fixture at Bernabeu following his contribution to the recent successes of the Spain national team, and the midfielder thanked those concerned for the gesture.
Silva added: “To be applauded at a stadium like the Bernabeu is great, that’s why I’m very grateful to the Real Madrid fans.”