Mancini: Players should not shun City
Roberto Mancini has warned potential transfer targets they would be making "a big mistake" if they turn their back on Manchester City. City entertain Tottenham this evening knowing victory would leave them needing to win their final match at West Ham on Sunday to seal a place in next season's Champions League. However, the Blues are also aware defeat would consign them to the Europa League and leave them waiting a little longer to join Europe's top table. Such an outcome might end up costing Mancini his job. But the Italian is so certain about City's progress that he does not feel anyone should be put off from joining the blue revolution purely because they would have to wait another 12 months to experience Champions League combat. "It will be a big mistake from players if they don't want to come because we have not finished fourth," said Mancini. "In the future Manchester City will be a fantastic team." The enormity of City's potential seems to have inhibited them in recent weeks. But, after rallying to beat Aston Villa at the weekend, the Blues are now in optimistic mood, with Gareth Barry in line for a recall after recovering from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the encounter against his former club. Barry is one of so many players brought to City by former boss Mark Hughes, who paid the price for a series of unconvincing displays by losing his job just before Christmas. But even if the Italian is celebrating at the weekend, he will spare a thought for the man he replaced. "Mark Hughes worked here for the first five months of the season and worked very well," he said. "If we get fourth position he deserves 50% of the credit because I think he worked well. "I have worked for five months and he has worked for five months. The season has been split between us." It has been suggested Mancini will follow Hughes through the exit door if City do not finish fourth. Yet the ultimate decision will be taken by a super-rich individual he has actually never met in Sheikh Mansour. It is a far cry from his days at Inter Milan, when president Massimo Moratti was a constant figure around the changing ground. "It is not strange," said Mancini. "It is different in Italy because the owner is always at the training ground. You meet him every week. "It is different but I think we have the time to meet him this summer."
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