Mancini aims to stay at least another three years - and win a trophy for each of them
SOCCER:Roberto Mancini has celebrated his third anniversary as Manchester City’s manager by stating he wants to stay for at least another three years and establish the club as English football’s dominant force by winning a trophy each season.
He was appointed on December 20th, 2009 and in two complete campaigns has claimed the FA Cup and Premier League. Asked if the next three years will be even better, the Italian said: “I hope so. For us, it is important to win a trophy every year. Now our target will be to win the second title because to win two titles in a row will be very important.”
Mancini admitted he could not predict if he will still be manager in three years’ time.
“But I know one thing – that I work with a really serious man [Khaldoon al-Mubarak, the chairman] and really serious people who understand this situation,” he said. “They know that if you work hard, in the end you win.”
Following elimination from the Champions League and League Cup, City have the championship and FA Cup to aim for.
“We have two targets and if we work better than the first six months and forget what we did last year we have more chances to win the league,” he said.
“When I arrived here I didn’t think that in two years we would win the Premier League and FA Cup. We changed things in England and Manchester in particular because for 20 or 30 years United won everything.”
But Mancini denied City, who host struggling Reading in the league at the Etihad Stadium today, are now a step ahead of their local rivals.
“I think that now they have more confidence with victory [in this month’s derby], and more confidence because they are used to winning for 20 years,” he said.
“Their mentality is stronger than ours in this moment. But as a team our quality is the same as theirs.
“We have a big respect for United because when one team have won what they won for 20 years we need to have respect for them and for Alex Ferguson. I don’t know if, when I am 70 like him, I can have the same attitude that he has.”
Mancini’s first press conference at City was controversial after he admitted having spoken with the club weeks before he replaced Mark Hughes. This forced the then chief executive, Garry Cook, to admit there had been contact.
“I remember that it was a very good press conference,” Mancini joked. “I remember all the pressure for Garry. I thought I was in a war, a battle.”
Regarding Mario Balotelli, who decided this week not to take City to a tribunal and accept a £340,000 (€417,000) fine, Mancini said: “It is normal when someone does a mistake he should take his responsibilities and Mario did this.”
The 22-year-old was contesting a fine of two weeks’ wages imposed by the club for his poor on-field disciplinary record last season but he dropped his challenge on the morning of the scheduled hearing.
Mancini recently voiced concerns Balotelli’s talent could go to waste if his attitude does not improve but he appears intent on backing his player.
Balotelli will not get chance to repay the faith this weekend after suffering a virus.
“This weekend Mario, unfortunately, is ill,” said Mancini. “He came in this morning but he can’t do anything.”
Forward Samir Nasri has been ruled out of the Reading clash and the St Stephen’s Day trip to Sunderland with a groin injury and defender Aleksandar Kolarov (knee) is also missing this weekend.