Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted a second-place Premier League finish for his team would still be a decent campaign.
The Chilean has come under-fire for what is set to be a trophy-less campaign for the defending league champions.
Pellegrini, whose team are 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, feels unrealistic expectations have been placed upon City.
“We are trying also to be next year in the Champions League,” he said.
“I repeat once again, I appreciate that you think the only team that must win the title is City. We cannot win trophies every year. It is impossible especially in this year.
“This year Arsenal spend more money, Chelsea spend more money, United spend more money, Liverpool more money and have very strong squads – same as our squad.
“So if you think for this squad it is a bad position or shame to be in second place, I don’t think so.”
City have scored the most goals (70) in the league this season, but Pellegrini believes mistakes have cost his team.
“It’s impossible for any club to always progress,” he said.
“This season we’ve scored less goals than in other seasons. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and we must improve, but it’s different when you think the only team that must win the title is our team. I don’t agree with that.
“Of course, there is a difference in the way you finish second in a season and the gap you have with the team that wins the title. But what Chelsea are doing this season, we did last season.”