Mancini urges Robinho to step up

Roberto Mancini wants Robinho to “write the history” of Manchester City.

The British record £32.5m (€36.5m) striker will be one of the first players Mancini will want to settle following the upheaval of the last few days.

While Robinho is hardly likely to shed any tears at Mark Hughes’ departure given his fractious relationship with the Welshman, with more talk about a potential move to Barcelona – which club president Joan Laporta has tried to play down – the 25-year-old could be forgiven for feeling a bit uneasy.

But after appearing somewhat less committed to the grand City plan that he was when he became the first big name signing of the Abu Dhabi era, Mancini is eager to use his own time at Sampdoria to show what Robinho could achieve.

“Robinho is a fantastic player,” said Mancini. “But for a big player like him, it is important to make the history of a club. I played at Sampdoria for 15 years. I wrote the history. It is important. Robinho can do that here.”

Given the speed with which Mark Hughes was controversially ousted, 45-year-old Mancini will spend the preparation for a Boxing Day visit by Stoke analysing the talent at his disposal before outlining the areas that need strengthening.

However, rather than declare that City’s transfer policy is going to be his domain, Mancini has already revealed it will be a team effort.

“In Italy, it is not just the manager who decides on players, it is also director of football,” he said.

“I will speak with Garry (Cook, chief executive) and Brian (Kidd, assistant manager). Together we will decide who we need. It is no problem. The most important thing is for City to win, now and in the future.”

Mancini certainly needs to make an impact pretty quickly given Hughes was sacked after just 18 months at the helm.

What started out as a hunt for sixth spot turned into a demand to reach 70 points following a £120m (€135m) summer investment.

Had City achieved Christmas victories against Stoke and Wolves, the Blues would be exactly on track at the halfway point of the campaign.

Yet such is the ruthlessness with which the Blues’ Abu Dhabi-based owners are pursuing their goals Hughes has swiftly been removed, with former Inter Milan boss Mancini taking over.

And Mancini has revealed his targets will be exactly the same as the ones Hughes was so strictly judged by.

“At this moment my target is the top four,” he said. “Next season we want to win the Premier League.”

More in this Section

Behind-closed-doors games cleared for TV after UEFA lifts Saturday 3pm blackoutBehind-closed-doors games cleared for TV after UEFA lifts Saturday 3pm blackout

The Ryan game: “Proud” Trent pays for poor finishing in FIFA 20 defeatThe Ryan game: “Proud” Trent pays for poor finishing in FIFA 20 defeat

Club player of the year McGrath adjusting to life on lockdownClub player of the year McGrath adjusting to life on lockdown

Sport's frontline workers: ‘We’re in a privileged position to help in a global pandemic’Sport's frontline workers: ‘We’re in a privileged position to help in a global pandemic’


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner