x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Roberto Mancini accepts he could be dismissed from Manchester City

The Italian's position at the Etihad Stadium has become the subject of speculation, even though he enjoys a "fantastic relationship" with the club's decision makers.

Roberto Mancini has said his position is under threat following recent results.
Roberto Mancini has said his position is under threat following recent results.

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, acknowledged that his job may not be guaranteed long-term, even though he enjoys a "fantastic relationship" with the club's decision makers.

The Italian's position at the Etihad Stadium has become the subject of speculation as his side have stuttered in the Premier League title race over the past month.

That is despite a largely impressive and sustained challenge for a first league crown since 1968 and last season's FA Cup success, which ended a 35-year trophy drought.

Mancini, who succeeded Mark Hughes in December 2009, said: "I started my job two-and-a-half years ago and from that moment I think we have improved a lot as a team, as players, as a club.

"I think this is important when you are at a new team."

Mancini has been backed throughout his tenure, both financially and in key man-management matters, by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, the owner.

Mancini also is appreciative and enjoys working with Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman.

"My relationship with Khaldoon is fantastic," said Mancini, 47.

"I can say if he sacks me at the end of the season or next year - I don't know - I can say every manager that works with Khaldoon is very lucky. Khaldoon is a really good man."

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, believes Manchester United continue to stay one step ahead in the title race because they have men who can deliver when the season's decisive moments enter "money time".

"Manchester United are surprisingly in a comfortable position," Wenger said. "No one expected them to be because they did not look absolutely irresistible this year. If Manchester United make it to the title, it is really down to experience."

Wenger has challenged Arsenal to end any doubt over what the end-of-season run-in will bring by winning all of their remaining seven matches.

Robin van Persie, the Arsenal captain and subject of a possible move to City, echoed Wenger's call for the team to concentrate on their own game.

"We are well prepared, because you have to know your stuff about the opposition, but in the end it's about your own performance that will hopefully make the difference," Van Persie wrote in his programme notes for today's match at Emirates Stadium.

"I am confident that we can get a good result. We have to get three points; a draw is not that good for either of us, so it should be a great game."