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Wright-Phillips says Manchester City can cope without Champions League football

Former Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has pointed to the red half of Manchester as an example of how a club can overcome the lack of Champions League football.

City’s European fate is hanging in the balance after they were handed a two-year ban by UEFA for financial irregularities.

The club are appealing the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and hope to overturn it.

Manager Pep Guardiola has said he will stay at City no matter what, but the future of some of their top players could come under focus if they were not playing in the Champions League.

However, Wright-Phillips, who had two spells with City, says United’s ability to keep their best players while only being able to offer Europa League football can serve as an example to his former club.

“I don’t think a ban means anything for Pep and the top players,” he told the PA news agency.

“If it does stand, which I don’t think it will and I feel they are confident it will get overturned, it is the same as any other club.

“Man Utd have not been in the Champions League for a few years and they have still kept (David) De Gea, players like (Paul) Pogba, and Manchester City will be able to do the same.”

City will turn their attention to the hunt for even more silverware on Sunday when they face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final.

While some teams have taken a dim view to the competition, Guardiola has always set out to win it, something they have done for the last two years.

If they can make it three in a row they would be just the second side ever to do so, following Liverpool’s four successive wins in the 1980s.

“I feel like the way Pep manages he wants to win every game and he has a squad depth to be able to do that,” Wright-Phillips said.

“It would be a great achievement, from the 1980s I think the only other team to do it are Liverpool so to equal that will be a tremendous success.

“Coming off a massive result like that, winning 2-1 at the Bernabeu, coming from behind shows the character that is built and instilled in the team.

“I feel they will be ready and pumped to win more silverware.”

City fans are no strangers to Wembley in recent years, and some have complained about travel difficulties they face in having to go there so regularly.

But Wright-Phillips wants the City fans to enjoy their success given his career at the club started when they were in the lower leagues.

“It is something they deserve because when we were down in Division One and even in Division Two they have always sold out,” he said.

“So I feel like they are getting their rewards for supporting the ups and downs of City and now there are a lot of ups.

“I hope they enjoy it.”