x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Mancini determined to deliver trophy to Manchester City

Roberto Mancini wants to go down in history as the man who ended Manchester City's 35-year trophy drought.

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, is determined to lead the club to their first league title since 1968. Mike Egerton / EMPICS
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, is determined to lead the club to their first league title since 1968. Mike Egerton / EMPICS

Roberto Mancini wants to go down in history as the man who ended Manchester City's 35-year trophy drought.

Twelve months ago, Mancini declared his intention to rip down the taunting clock that hangs from the Stretford End at Old Trafford, ticking round each season that ends without a trophy for the blue half of Manchester.

The Italian did not get his wish as United emerged triumphant in a thrilling two-legged Carling Cup semi-final.

But the hunger has not gone away. And after another frantic summer of team-building, plus this week's £27 million (Dh157.4m) arrival of the Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, Mancini believes City are better placed than ever to emulate that 1976 League Cup triumph.

"I would like people to look back on my time here and say I was a good manager, a manager that ended a long wait for silverware - and much more," Mancini told City's official magazine, Manc.

"Nobody knows what the future holds. But the feeling around the club is very good.

"We have improved as a team over the past few months and there is a momentum building up. After so many years, the fans deserve success. I believe they will have something to celebrate before too long."

City entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers today knowing victory will take them top of the Premier League for at least 24 hours prior to United's trip to Tottenham Hotspur. The table top is almost alien territory at this stage of the season for a club that won the last of its two championships in 1968.

City did not make it quite so high last term, when they finished in a shoot-out with Spurs for a Champions League place.

Peter Crouch's goal at Eastlands in May ensured it was Harry Redknapp's men who secured a place in the Champions League, and they since have proved their worth by qualifying for the last 16 ahead of Mancini's old club, Inter Milan. Looking back, Mancini does not feel City were ready to make the same impact - but he has no doubts they do now.

"A year ago, we weren't ready," he said. "But I feel we are now. If we qualify for the Champions League this season we will do well because we are stronger."

With an FA Cup replay against Leicester City and a trip to Aston Villa in store this week, the Italian may resist the temptation to start Dzeko, who joined in midweek from the German side Wolfsburg.

But Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, said his side can ill-afford to focus all their attention on Dzeko, should he start, saying City have plenty of other attacking threats to worry about.

"I don't think for one minute we can just be looking after him when they have a team of stars," said McCarthy, whose side already boast a win at Molineux over big-spending City earlier this season.

"The £27 million player has not had a kick and the £32 million player (Carlos Tevez) is having a great day and running riot. That would be good."

Wolves captain Karl Henry (knee) and defenders Jody Craddock (hip) and Steven Mouyokolo (back) will travel to Eastlands after recovering from injury.

Full-back George Elokobi will start a three-game ban for his red card in the FA Cup match at Doncaster Rovers last weekend.

7pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 3