Mancini: I always believed we could win the title

He may have dismissed his side’s title chances on several occasions but Roberto Mancini insists he never stopped believing Manchester City could win the Premier League title.

The City manager publicly conceded the title after City fell eight points behind Manchester United after a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the beginning of April.

It was a stance the Italian maintained after City reduced the lead to five points after United’s shock defeat to Wigan and when the gap was cut to three when United twice surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 with Everton.

Even after City went top after a 1-0 win over United, Mancini maintained his negative stance, claiming an easier run-in meant Alex Ferguson’s had an advantage.

City needed two dramatic stoppage-time goals against QPR on Sunday to win the title and Mancini admitted yesterday that he had been playing mind games.

Asked if he ever gave up on the title Mancini said: “No, never. I always thought positive. I believed we could win the title because we had another six games and in that moment it was important to take pressure off our team and put pressure on United and to arrive at the derby three points behind if possible. It was our target at that moment.”

Critics have questioned the sporting merit of City’s triumph given the amount of money the club have spent assembling a galaxy of stars but Mancini feels his side are worthy champions.

“I think we deserved to win the title because we were on top for 28 games. If you are not a good team, you can’t stay there for six months,” he told talkSPORT.

“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.”


Lifestyle

One word: iconic.90s celebrity power couples who were serious style goals back in the day

Alanis Morissette, celebrating 25 years since Jagged Litle Pill, talks to Ken Lexington on self-medication, love addiction, anxiety, depression and anger as an important lifeforceFor Alanis Morrisette, anger is an energy

Another week, another fiendishly fun test of your arts and showbiz knowledge from Irish Examiner Arts Editor Des O'DriscollScene & Heard: Fun culture quiz

The story of how the Cork-based executive head chef faced her “demons” and turned around her life just before her 30th birthday.This is me: Trisha Lewis transforms her body and mindset

More From The Irish Examiner