By Andy Sambidge
Manager Roberto Mancini admits his club needs a miracle after defeat to Ajax
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City will need a miracle to reach the Champions League knockout stage, manager Roberto Mancini has admitted.
"It's my fault because I prepared badly for this game," said the Italian in a TV interview after seeing his team lose 3-1 to Dutch side Ajax on Wednesday night.
The defeat leaves them bottom of Group D on one point from three games with three matches remaining.
"There's one team with seven points, one team with six and one with three. It will be a miracle," Mancini said.
Manchester City's next game is at home to Ajax on November 6, followed by Real Madrid on November 21 before finishing with a trip to Dortmund on December 4.
Barring a remarkable turnaround, the Premier League champions will miss out of the last 16 for the second season running.
Mancini varied his tactics and defender Micah Richards questioned the Italian's approach immediately after the game.
"[Playing three central defenders] is something we have not worked very much and it is the second time we have conceded after going to a back five.
"It is a hard system because we are not used to it. I think the players prefer a back four.
"But the manager likes it and if we want to do well with it then we'll have to work harder on it."