Slobodan Maricic, Journalist, BBC Serbia
A camera even caught an expletive that slipped from his lips.
Before the season started, the six-time consecutive Serbian champions had high hopes, with the most optimistic fans even saying Red Star might have a chance of making it out of the group stage.
The Serbian league winners this year had a direct path to a Champions League, and the 1991 European champions used their involvement in the competition to rebuild the team with a lot of international players.
One of them is South Korean international Hwang In-beom, signed from Olympiakos for 5.5 million euros (£4.7m), which makes him the most expensive purchase in Red Star history.
Ivory Coast, Nigerian and Senegalese forwards Jean-Philippe Krasso, Peter Olayinka and Cherif Ndiaye also joined the club, as did midfielder Marko Stamenic from New Zealand, as well as Israeli goalkeeper Omri Glazer.
The club also got a new head coach, Barak Bakhar from Maccabi Haifa, who made Dragovic captain.
In one of the pre-season friendlies, Red Star smashed Italian side Fiorentina 5-0 and got a couple of easy wins at the start of the Serbian league, but two recent domestic defeats – their first ones in 22 months – changed the joyous mood.
Nevertheless, when Bakhar was asked what Red Star will be doing defensively against mighty Manchester City, he answered with a question - "who said that we will be playing defensively?“
The initial high hopes waned a bit, but club officials are still considering third place in the Champions League group as a must this season.
In the last three seasons, Red Star played in the Europa League and had two great knock-out stage duels with Glasgow Rangers and Milan, though they came out as losers from both clashes.
Red Star previously played in the Champions League in the 2018-19 season, when they beat Liverpool 2-0 in one of the best matches in the club’s history. A year earlier, the club suffered two heavy defeats against Tottenham in the group stage.
That season also brought club’s highest defeat in Uefa competition – 6-0 against Bayern Munich.
Fans are now hoping the margin will not be repeated against Manchester City.