Roberto Mancini has demanded "three big performances" from his Manchester City side to keep alive any hopes of remaining in the Champions League.
The Premier League champions host Ajax on Tuesday and need a win to retain hope of qualification.
But Mancini admits his disappointment at City's poor run in the tournament.
"You should play 100 per cent every game. It's normal, no? We have three games. We have to think only about Ajax."
When asked if his side owed him a big performance against the four-time European Champions, Mancini responded: "I think three big performances!"
The Italian has already said City need "a miracle" to qualify from Group D in which they have only managed one point from their opening three games.
"I don't think that we are ready to win the Champions League. If we say this, we are not honest.
"We are a good team. We are not ready like the other teams.
"Chelsea were probably the best team in Europe for 10 years and they won the Champions League after 10 years, probably when they didn't deserve it.
"They deserved to win the Champions League three or four years before. If we are very good, we are fantastic, we win the next three games, everything can happen."
City's 3-1 defeat two weeks ago at the home of Tuesday's opponents ensured Mancini's men remained bottom of the group.
"Maybe we conceded a lot of goals when we started the season," said Mancini.
"Now, we've improved our defensive phase but we need to start scoring like last year and I think we need to improve our offensive phase."
The Dutch champions Ajax, are two points above City in third, with Borussia Dortmund top on seven points and Real Madrid second on six, leaving City facing an uphill battle to make the last 16.
Ajax go into the game on the back of a 2-0 loss to Vitesse Arnhem, their first domestic loss of the season.
And coach Frank de Boer said he has no intention of telling his side to sit back to soak up pressure against City.
The former Netherlands defender said: "We are not going to throw it open but it is not our way to play defensively.
"We want to show the way we play at Ajax, whether it is at home or away."
City remain unbeaten in the league, but squandered the opportunity to join Manchester United at the top of the table after a goalless draw with West Ham on Saturday - the first time in seven months that the champions have failed to score in a game.
When questioned about his future at the club, Mancini reacted angrily.
He said: "I decided to stay here because I worked for two-and-a-half years, I worked hard.
"We won three trophies in two years. I think you should have respect for this, for me, for the club, for the players. I don't understand why every time we talk about this."