Joleon Lescott insists the Premier League title has always been Manchester City's priority this season, not UEFA Champions League success.
City are in danger of seeing their European dreams dashed, with a shock exit at the group stage on the cards.
They are, however, in pole position when it comes to domestic action and will get the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points when they face Liverpool on Sunday.
Lescott claims more importance is being placed on that game than a make-or-break continental clash with Bayern Munich, with league glory the ultimate target this term.
"If we go out of the Champions League it'll be a huge disappointment, but the truth is the Premier League has always been our priority," said the England international.
"People might not believe that but the aim last year was to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy - like we did - and this time the goal is to win the title itself.
"For me, winning the Premier League is the ultimate achievement. Growing up it was something I always dreamed about.
"We want to be champions. The Champions League is a fantastic tournament but the real measure is how you perform in the Premier League over the course of the season.
"Winning the FA Cup was great because we knew it had been 35 years since City won a trophy. But the real test of a team is the league.
"We've started really well and produced some unbelievable performances, but the thing about the Premier League is that it is a marathon."
Lescott is convinced City can last the pace in the Premier League title race, with Roberto Mancini having assembled a star-studded squad that can be rotated as necessary.
He added: "Most of the lads have been here at least a season so they know what to expect over the winter months. Lads like Yaya Toure and David Silva have lit up the game in England. They now look like they've been playing here for years.
"At the moment, we are playing so well that we really don't feel under any pressure. I am sure that will change at some time, but for now the confidence is so high that we go into every game believing we can win.
"And if we keep playing like this we will be hard to catch. In fact, we'll be impossible to catch! But the key is to make sure we don't get carried away with the start we've had."