Mancini eyes strong Champions League bid

Mancini eyes strong Champions League bid

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini wants to build on title glory with a strong challenge in the Champions League next season.

Mancini feels European success should be the next challenge after securing the Barclays Premier League – City’s first title success in 44 years – with a dramatic 3-2 win over QPR.

City’s first foray into the Champions League ended at the group stage last autumn but Mancini now wants to improve on that, as well as maintaining domestic dominance.

Mancini told talkSPORT: “We need to improve. The Champions League is a very difficult competition, you need to be lucky and in good form in February, but I think we can do well next year.”

He added: “I think Manchester City now is in a good way. It is not easy because we have to fight every year against top teams like United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham – but we have worked well in the last two years and if we continue to work like this we can have a big future.

“I am very happy because in England it is the best championship in Europe. The Premier League is a fantastic league and I am very happy to be here.”

City struck twice in injury time against 10-man QPR at the Etihad Stadium to snatch back a league crown Manchester United, who were second at the start of the final day, looked to have taken.

It completed not only a great fightback on the day but a great recovery in the whole campaign.

City, who led by five points after a blistering start to the season, trailed United by eight points with six games remaining.

Mancini’s assistant David Platt believes retaining that title should be the very minimum aim next term.

Platt said: “In my first year [at the club] the objective was to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy. We did that by winning the FA Cup.

“This season it was to win the league and get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, which we failed to do. But we won the title.

“Next year’s aim will be to win the title again. That’s the minimum. That’s the objective we have to have, and quite rightly so.”

After the celebrations, City will turn their attention to how they could strengthen the squad for next season.

Platt said: “We’ve been speaking for a couple of months about potential targets.

“No matter what the result on Sunday, that would not have got in the way of common business sense.

“The owners are here for the long term and this is about improving every year.

“Whether we’d finished first or second, the same project would be in place. We’ve identified where we need to strengthen but a lot will depend on who’s available.

“To buy players who will improve us as a team means you’re choosing from a very select band.”

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