22nd of November 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini feels his job is safe despite seeing his side fail to reach the last sixteen of the Champions League for a second season in a row. Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid left them out as Real and Borussia Dortmund secured qualification from Group D. At the press conference after the match Mancini was asked if failure could cost him his job, and he said: "I don't fear this. If we think, as a team and a club, we can win the Champions League after two years in it, then we are crazy."
Manchester City won last season's Premier League title and are currently top of the domestic league table but the manager said he does not feel the Citizens are ready to beat the best teams in Europe, and believes that will take time. "Look at Chelsea," Mancini said. "They tried to win it for 10 years and when they were at their best they probably deserved to win it, but they didn't. Then they won last year when nobody thought they would win it. The Champions League is strange and difficult, we need to have a big passion for it and we need to improve our team and understand that we cannot start the group with mistakes. We need to win our first two games."
Ironically, Chelsea have just parted company with Roberto Di Matteo, the manager who finally brought them Champions League trophy in May. Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho believes City will support Mancini but does not think he would get the same treatment at Madrid. "It is incredible when you look at the array of players City have got that they have been eliminated from the group stage two years running," Mourinho said. "But I believe Roberto can work without any problems. If it was Real, I don't believe the press would let me return to Madrid."
Manchester City can still finish third in the Champions League group if they beat Dortmund in Germany in their final game, but Ajax will have to fail to beat Real. Finishing third would allow City to continue in the Europa League. "If we could get to the second stage in February, then everything can change because you can improve over five or six months and maybe you can say you are here to win the Champions League," Mancini explained. "But if you say, as a team or a club, can we win it, I don't think this, because I think there are five or six teams better than us. We wanted to go through this time but this group was really difficult. The Champions League does not ever give you a chance to recover if you miss some chances like we did in our first two or three games. In the Premier League, the season is long. Also, if you lose two or three games then you have time to recover. In the Champions League, you don't."
Last season, City went out in the group stage despite grabbing 10 points from their six games. This season they snatched only three points from five games so far, and they have failed to win a single match in Europe. "This is worse," Mancini said. "We have made some mistakes and the group is very difficult. We started the group with defeat in Madrid when we were 2-1 up with only a few minutes to go and everything was made complicated by that result. I think Real and Dortmund deserve to go through because they played better than us."
Man City are no longer the favourites to win the Premier League this season, Bet365 have them at 13/10 for the title while Man United are priced at 5/4.
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