No pressure for Mancini as Manchester City chase double success


Roberto Mancini has shrugged off Manchester City’s European exit.

For the second successive season the Blues will not feature in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, having failed to negotiate a hugely difficult group containing Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax. Worse still, the English champions finished bottom of the pool, meaning they crashed out of Europe altogether as their Dutch opponents took the UEFA Europa League spot.

City were eliminated from the League Cup at the hands of Aston Villa earlier this season, but are still very much in contention to retain their title. And with the FA Cup set to get underway next month, Mancini insists that rather than feel the pressure, he is looking to secure a historic double success this term.

"It's clear the season isn't finished. We have the Premier League and FA Cup to go for," the Italian coach told The Sun. "But we must work more now. What we're doing is not enough. Our target when we started the season was to defend our title. That was the main target. We knew it was difficult to win the Champions League.

“Our targets have not changed. Our main target was the Premier League and FA Cup - to win a trophy. I don't feel any pressure. I'm disappointed because we went out of the Champions League and I'm disappointed for the club because they deserve to go through and for our players, who deserve to play on that stage."

City, of course, welcome rivals United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in the most eagerly awaited fixture of the season to date. If Sir Alex Ferguson collects a win the Reds will move six points ahead of their neighbours ahead of the festive programme.

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