Manchester City players 'have to take responsibility' for UCL exit - Clichy

MONACO -- Manchester City players have to take responsibility for their early exit from the Champions League, according to defender Gael Clichy.

Clichy says there was nothing wrong with Pep Guardiola's tactics despite City being overrun by Monaco and insists the players must take the blame for not performing after losing 3-1 and exiting the competition on away goals.

"We started really sloppily, we lost some balls, football is a funny game, the first duel or challenge can set the momentum for one team or another and we didn't start well," he told reporters.

"We tried to rectify things in the second half and did well but not well enough because we didn't take our chances.

"We have to take responsibility because he [Guardiola] never told us to play deep so of course we have to take responsibility for that.

"Since he took over at the club his philosophy is to go forward, to press the team we're playing, to win the ball high up the field and then pass the ball to a player who can be creative and make something happen and we just didn't do it.

"He didn't tell us [to do what we did]. He wants us to go and play the way we want to but we lost some easy balls."

City's best chance of silverware is now the FA Cup but before that they have a run of tough games, which could go a long way to deciding whether they finish in the crucial top-four positions to secure Champions League football for next season.

They play top-four rivals Liverpool on Sunday, followed by Chelsea and Arsenal after the international break, and Clichy says they must put the Monaco defeat to the back of their minds quickly.

"We have to look forward because Liverpool is a massive game," he added. "We want to play well.

"The more games you win the better you feel. We still have the FA Cup, we want to be as close as possible to Chelsea as we can in the league and there are still some games to go so the message is to finish strong, we have to do it for ourselves, the manager and the fans."

The defeat to Monaco will cast more doubts over the futures of many City players with seven out of contract in the summer, including Clichy. However, the ex-Arsenal player didn't want to speculate on a potential overhaul at the Etihad.

"That's a question for the manager," he said. "Of course people will talk and say things. We can only concentrate on the next game.

"What's going to happen in three months is up to the chairman, the boss and the club will carry on in his way. I can't really answer this.

"Of course there are going to be some new faces but I just want to look forward to Sunday. We can win something still this year so we have to believe and finish strongly."