x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Roberto Mancini promises Manchester City will win a trophy

Winning habit is vital, the Italian says on his three-year anniversary at club, writes Richard Jolly.

Roberto Mancini, right, the Manchester City manager, praised Sir Alex Ferguson, left, for the mentality at Manchester United, but says his side will be better than their city and title rivals. Paul Ellis / AFP
Roberto Mancini, right, the Manchester City manager, praised Sir Alex Ferguson, left, for the mentality at Manchester United, but says his side will be better than their city and title rivals. Paul Ellis / AFP

Roberto Mancini marked the three-year anniversary of his arrival at Manchester City by guaranteeing silverware this season.

The Italian is proud that he has enjoyed success in each of his eight full seasons in management and vowed to secure either the Premier League or the FA Cup.

"I always win," he said. "I can't do anything about this."

Mancini, introduced as the City manager on December 21, 2009, believes one of his major achievements is bringing a winning mentality to the Etihad Stadium, just as he did to his former clubs.

He won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League last season, following on from four years at Inter Milan where he lifted the Coppa Italia in the first two and won Serie A in the final three.

In two campaigns as the manager of Lazio he secured a fourth-place finish - the club's definition of success - and then won the Coppa Italia.

"In one season with Lazio we didn't win anything but our premier target was to take the Champions League place and we got into the Champions League," he said.

And he adds that for a club like City, who ended a 35-year wait for a trophy in 2011, it is vital to maintain the habit of securing silverware.

"I think that is very important for us, in particular, because we started to win two years ago and every year we won a trophy," he said. "It could be that in some seasons you can't win the Premier League but if you win the FA Cup, I think it is important."

Mancini is proud of his record in England, believing success has come sooner than expected and that, because of the dominance of Manchester United, it was especially difficult to make City winners. Now, he senses, the balance of power is changing.

"I thought that maybe we needed four or five years to win the Premier League," he said. "It is not easy to change this in England and in Manchester, in particular, because for 20 years Manchester United won everything. We changed this because we did well."

Mancini also warned United that, despite the 3-2 derby victory Sir Alex Ferguson's side secured on December 9, City could soon overhaul them.

"Their mentality is stronger than our mentality in this moment," he said. "But as a team our quality is the same level as theirs in this moment. We have a big respect for United and for Ferguson but if we work well we will be better."

As he harked back to the snowy December day in 2009, Mancini recalled the hot reception the former chief executive, Garry Cook, received following the controversial decision to dismiss Mark Hughes. It was an unforgettable introduction to life at City.

"I remember all the pressure on Garry," he said. "I thought I was in the war. A battle."

Then Mancini looked forward, saying that there is no guarantee he will still be at City in 2015, but declaring his confidence in his future because of the backing the club's decision-makers give him.

"I don't know this because in football we can't know this," he said. "But this not my problem because I work hard with these people who are really good people and they always support me and the team."

City host Reading today with James Milner available to play for the first time since November, and Gareth Barry back from suspension, and Mancini confident that his captain, Vincent Kompany, will recover from his groin strain to play.

Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov have been ruled out, along with the ill Mario Balotelli and, after the Italian abandoned his appeal against a £340,000 (Dh2.03 million) club fine, Mancini confirmed the striker has a future at City if his attitude is right.

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