Didi Hamann has "rubbished" Manchester City's claims for a top four finish this season.
After their 2-2 draw at Newcastle, Hamann told City's website: "I have played the game long enough to know what to expect and we just have to put in the hard work and play and defend as a team.
"If we do that we could have a bright future and if we don't then we will have disappointing results.
"A lot of rubbish has been written about us making the Champions League, we have got to start winning games, see where we are at Christmas and then set targets of where we should finish."
The Blues sit halfway up the league table with 10 points and after already scoring 20 goals from their eight games many people might have expected more from Mark Hughes' men.
But from within the squad the German midfielder added: "My expectations are not that high because I know what we have got and what we haven't got.
"People have got carried away with looking at the players we have got and there still is a long way to go yet.
"If you look the top four or five teams and then look at us at the moment then there is still a bigger gap than people think."