Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini reckons it will take him another six months to get the Premier League’s big-spenders into shape.
The Italian boss, whose side face Juventus here at Eastlands in the standout Europa League tie on Thursday, has been pleased with a start to the season that has seen City rise to fourth in the Premier League table and last week defeat leaders, and reigning champions, Chelsea.
However, speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Mancini said: “I think we can create a special team in six months.
“We need time to improve day by day to change the mentality. We must start winning consistently. That is important.”
Meanwhile Mancini did not rule out the prospect of a return home to Italy to coach his childhood favourites Juventus at some stage.
“Why not, football is like that,” he said.
“I have never been an enemy of Juventus. I was a huge fan for years when I was a child so I have great respect for the club and the players.
“It will be a special match as it is the first time I am coaching an English team against Juventus.
“Obviously I miss home, as anyone would, but I am happy here. This is where I am living and working.”
Mancini though risked angering Italian fans by suggesting the Premier League was stronger than Serie A.
“Juve and City are both new teams. We both need time to establish ourselves.
“I think the English championship is better than the Italian. They need to bring some big players back. They are not there at the moment.”
City’s veteran midfielder Patrick Vieira is hoping to claim a place in the team after saying he was “frustrated” at his lack of game time.
Vieira, 34, arrived in January from Inter Milan following a season with Juventus and the former France international said: “It has been frustrating. Like everyone else I want to play more often and be more involved. I know how strong the team is, especially in the midfield.
“I want to play more than one game a month. I will get my chance, I know that because the season is really long. I want to show the manager he can count on me.
“Every competition is really important because we all want to play. As City have not won a trophy for years lifting one would be good for the club.”
“We have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea who are seen to be part of the big four. That just shows how strong we are. There is still a long way to go but we believe in ourselves.
“We know how good we are,” the former Arsenal midfielder added. “Now we have to win games week in, week out. We have to show it on the pitch.”
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