He warned: "We need to be realistic because the distance between City and Liverpool to us is a lot of points.
"We need to reduce that gap and be more competitive.
"And to do that we need to improve defensively without losing any of our offensive qualities.
"I think we progressed last season but it was not enough to achieve our top target of getting back into the Champions League.
"We reduced the difference with Chelsea and Tottenham and in the end we were only two and one point behind them.
"I know that is not enough but I am positive we can take further steps forward to compete with the big clubs and fight for the top four in the Premier League."
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