Pablo Zabaleta confident Manchester City can progress in Champions League

Pablo Zabaleta: Manchester City defender remains hopeful of progress in the Champions League

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Pablo Zabaleta is staying positive about Manchester City's prospects of progress in the UEFA Champions League, but concedes they must improve.

City followed up an opening 3-2 defeat away by Real Madrid by snatching a last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

The Premier League champions now face a double-header against Ajax and Zabaleta remains hopeful City can improve on last season's failure to reach the last 16.

Zabaleta said: "We know we can do better. It is time to work hard and try to improve. We know it is going to be very difficult but we have to believe.

"We need to go to Amsterdam now and try to win. With only one point we have the pressure, but we need to be positive."

City played out a pulsating game with German champions Dortmund in midweek but were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart for keeping them in the contest.

The England No.1 produced a string of world-class saves and, although he could not prevent Marco Reus scoring, his efforts were not in vain as Mario Balotelli struck a late penalty.

Right-back Zabaleta said: "The only positive point for us is that we took one point from the game. It was a really tough game - we knew that before the game, they are a good side, but obviously we are disappointed because it is the Champions League and we need to try to win the home games.

"Overall they were better than us but Joe Hart was fantastic, he showed he's one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. We have to thank him for the performance he gave."