Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to stop booing the Champions League anthem and urged them to fill the stadium for their European matches.
City reached the semi-finals last season and began their sixth successive group stage campaign with a convincing 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in a delayed clash at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
Yet their supporters have always seemed lukewarm towards the competition, with attendances often disappointing and their antipathy towards organisers UEFA, due to a number of grievances, well known and only 30,217 turned out at their 60,000-seater stadium on Wednesday night.
Over the past two seasons it has become the norm for fans to boo during the playing of the anthem prior to kick-off as a means of protest against Europe’s governing body – but Guardiola feels it is now time to move on.
Guardiola, a two-time Champions League winner while in charge of Barcelona, said: “I was not here for what happened but they must forget what happened in the past. We are here to create (history) for the people to talk about our club.
“Only what we can do is play every time better than before so people say, ‘wow, I spent 90 minutes there and I had fun. Next time I will be there’.
“Today the stadium was not completely full so the only thing we can do is play good. We have to be so proud to play in this competition.
“The people are listening to me so I am sure they are going to do that. I am going to work until the last moment to convince the people to come here to join us to see the Champions League games.
“Our fans have to know we need them in the Champions League. We cannot make something good in the Champions League in the coming years without them.
“Our players deserve the stadium completely full and hopefully against Barcelona and Celtic it is going to happen.”
City’s emphatic victory over the Germans was their seventh successive win, continuing their superb start under Guardiola. Sergio Aguero scored his second hat-trick of the campaign with Kelechi Iheanacho adding the fourth late on.
Former Bayern Munich boss Guardiola said: “Sergio is one of the best, no doubts about that. He has a special quality in the box. He’s a special player.
“I never won before against this coach and he always creates a lot of problems for my team. Today we created a really good performance except for 10-15 minutes in the first half.”
Ilkay Gundogan impressed on his debut, having been named in the side at short notice in place of David Silva, who would have started had the game gone ahead as originally scheduled on Tuesday. It was summer signing Gundogan’s first appearance since suffering a knee injury in April.
Guardiola said: “He was not ready to play 90 minutes but played with the quality he has. Both feet, so intelligent, doesn’t lose the ball, good arriving in the box and when attacking with the ball. His qualities are going to help us a lot.”
City hardly seemed inconvenienced by the 24-hour postponement of the fixture after a torrential thunderstorm on Tuesday.
Guardiola said: “We were at home and asleep with our wives and people, our kids. We were calm.”
Silva was not risked after suffering a slight injury in a light training session. Guardiola said it was “not a big problem” but the Spaniard could be doubtful for the weekend Premier League clash against Bournemouth.
Borussia coach Andre Schubert admitted it had not been a good trip.
Schubert said: “We’ve not been very happy the last two, three days. Everything’s run against us. It’s very different to three days at home – you’re in a hotel, there’s the stress of travelling.
“But that’s not the reason we lost to Man City. We couldn’t stop their build-up. We didn’t show quality in defence. That’s why City won so clearly.”