Roberto Mancini: Manchester City deserve to be top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester United

January 1st, 20126:32 am @


After seeing his team accept a dose of reality as five points have gone astray
over the last four games, Mancini feels that repeating the form of the first
half of the campaign will be enough to earn a first league title since 1968.

“We have had a fantastic season until now but we know that we will probably
need another 45 points,” said Mancini, whose side could go three points
clear at the top on New Year’s Day against Sunderland.

“For a team like United, when you have a problem, if you are a strong team,
you play better because all the players that go on the pitch, they play 200
per cent and do everything. This is normal for a top team. In the bad
moments you play better.

“My ambition for this year is to be on the top when we finish this
championship because we were there when we started the season and I think
that we deserve to be there, but if we want to do this we will have to work
very hard in the next four or five months.”

Mancini was never ruffled by his early problems with the English language, the
criticism of his playing style or the all too regular misdemeanours of his

Much like his squad, whose turnaround, with 53 goals in 18 matches, has been
impressive no matter the expense, Mancini is finally being recognised for
what he is achieving in this country.

“When you start, usually a team like Manchester City will need three or four
years and we’ve done this very quickly,” he said.

“We are on the top and we’ve only had this team for a year and a half, for
last year and this five months.

“We’ve done well and we’ve worked well and I trust my players because they’ve
been fantastic until today. If they continue to give us 100 per cent we can
do this in less than three years.”

And Mancini has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that City’s push for the Premier
League title will not be undermined by any attempt at mind-games by his
veteran rival.

The United manager has been quoted as saying that he was as worried about the
challenge from Tottenham for the title as he was about City and he went on
to describe Spurs as “the best team in the country”.

It was a move reminiscent of previous years when well-timed barbs have helped
destabilise title opponents such as Rafa Benítez and Kevin Keegan.

“I think that we should think only about our game, not what Fergie or the
other managers say,” Mancini said. “That’s not important. We have respect
for him, for United, for all the teams, but we are strong enough to just
look for the title. We need only to focus on us until the finish and we
don’t listen to anything else.”

Mancini has reiterated that any transfer business this month is dependent on
City selling Carlos Tévez, Wayne Bridge and Nedum Onuoha first. The Italian
would like another striker and may also look for cover for the duration of
Yaya Touré’s stint at the African Nations Cup, with continued doubts about
the fitness of Owen Hargreaves.

Article source: