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Mancini's Premier crew

15 May 2010 12:08:11

DETERMINED: Roberto Mancini is already looking towards next seasonRoberto Mancini has vowed to ensure that Manchester City's men-of-war become kings of the must-win match next season - and don't get dismissed as nearly men. The Blues' boss is already convinced that his side can live with the Premier League's best - pointing to this season's double over champions Chelsea as evidence. Victories over Arsenal in the Premier League and Carling Cup also suggested that the club are making steady progress in their bid to become a major force in English and European football. But Mancini has been frustrated by the near-misses he has experienced since arriving at Eastlands in December. He was in place to witness two of City's three injury-time defeats at the hands of neighbours United, as well as the home defeats against Everton and Tottenham that ultimately thwarted the bid for a top-four finish. And the Italian wants to ensure that when next season comes around, the Blues come out on top in the must-win games. He said: "Next season, we want to improve. Next year, when we play Tottenham, United, Everton and Liverpool, we want to win. "This year, we were very unlucky. But we must improve if we want to win these games." Mancini has, by and large, managed to eradicate City's tendency to slip up in matches they are expected to win. Emphatic victories over Burnley and Birmingham last month suggested the Blues have learned to crush the also-rans. But there has been the odd blip - most notably the defeat at relegated Hull in February. Mancini, though, is keen to ensure that City do not acquire a reputation as flat-track bullies - brilliant against the minnows, but generally second-best against the big-boys. And he insists that his first six months as a Premier League manager have only re-inforced what he learned during his brief spell as a player with Leicester nine years ago - that English top-flight football is incredibly demanding. He said: "I must say that I like the Premier League. I like City. I like the stadium and I like the supporters. We have a fantastic club. "And this has helped me to improve, because I didn't know the Premier League. But when you work in it every day, you get to know all the players. You learn that every game is difficult. We lost at Hull - who got relegated this year. It showed me that every game is very, very hard." Where do you think City can improve? Have your say. | Submit Comments| Comments (18)| PrintWhat's this? Emaildel.icio.usDiggredditFacebookStumbleUponNewsvineGoogle BookmarksNetscapeTechnoratiWindows LiveYahoo! MyWebMa.gnolia


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