Vincent Kompany has claimed it is a matter of time before Manchester City find a winning formula in the Champions League.
The City captain believes the woes Roberto Mancini's men have suffered in their first two seasons in Europe's elite competition are due to a lack of Champions League experience and remains convinced they will begin to sparkle against the continent's best sooner rather than later.
A second Group D defeat against Ajax on Tuesday night will end City's hopes of a place in the last 16 of this season's Champions League, but their leader is refusing to hit the panic button.
"If you look at the other English clubs in the competition, it took time," he said in Ireland's Sunday World newspaper. "It has been a challenge, especially with the draw we were given and it was never going to be easy, but I don't want to participate in dramatizing the whole thing.
"City will get there in the end. Right now, for this team, it is the time to pull together and get back on track. Most importantly, we need to keep learning and developing. City will be in the Champions League many, many more times and will get their chance, but, for now, we have to show that we deserve to be in the Champions League."
In an attempt to put City's disappointment into perspective, Kompany used the example set by Arsenal and Chelsea as they have battled for many a long year with mixed success in the Champions League.
"This is only our second time in the Champions League, but Arsenal have played in the Champions League for 15 seasons and are yet to win it," he said. "It took Chelsea 10 or 11 years and for most of that time, they were a fantastic team.
"We can play better, but there are other teams who have always played in the Champions League and sometimes they don't play well also."
Kompany has urged his team-mates to prove their worth in their re-match with Ajax, as they look to reverse the 3-1 defeat suffered in Amsterdam two weeks ago. "We need to show that we are not out of our depth in the Champions League, just as we did last year domestically," he added.
"Sometimes the way to look at it is not to look at the results. Last season when we were eight points down with six games to go in the Premier League, the change in attitude was that we said to ourselves; 'Okay, we're not doing it for the points any more, or to win the league, we are doing it for our own pride, because we know we are better than what we have shown for the last couple of weeks'.
"It's the same for us now in the Champions League. It's not just about us winning the three games to get through, but about showing to ourselves that we belong there, and then we will see what happens. City have to show that we deserve to be in the Champions League."
"No club, anywhere, would find it easy against the champions of Spain, Germany and Holland. We have not been happy with the way things have gone, but while no-one is making any excuses, our first two campaigns in the Champions League have presented huge challenges. However, they are challenges that will make us better in the end."