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Roberto Mancini salutes loyalty

Roberto Mancini with shirt

Roberto Mancini with shirt

Roberto Mancini has dismissed any notion of disquiet in the Carrington camp - and goes so far as to salute the City players' loyalty to former manager Mark Hughes.

New Blues boss Mancini, facing his first game in charge on Boxing Day at home to Stoke, was relaxed enough to make light of rumours that the change-over had been problematic.

He said: "I have good communication with the players, and I have a good relationship with the players. I appreciate that some players were close with Mark. It's a good thing for a manager.

"I hope that when I leave Manchester in ten or 15 years after five Premier titles and four cups, the players will have the same feeling for me!"

Mancini, who won a hat-trick of Serie A titles at Internazionale, insists he can repeat his Italian successes with a combination of hard work and the right attitude from the squad.

Accepting that it will take time to stamp his own style, he said: "I hope the players understand my thinking, and in three or four weeks it's possible. We've worked well for four days.

"Inter Milan is a good job. I arrived at Inter when they hadn't won (a title) for 18 years and after one year we won the cup, and then after that the championship and the cup.

 

I worked hard and I won a lot! I think that I can do the same thing in Manchester, but for this to happen it's important to work hard

...Roberto Mancini

 

"The top four is still the target. If we do a good job in the next five or six months and get in the top four, then next season we can arrive on top.

"For this we must change the mentality. We must want to win always, home and away. If we have this mentality we can change the situation, and I think that the players have this mentality."

Although his Premier League playing experience was limited to four games for Leicester in 2001, he is under no illusions about his tough baptism as manager tomorrow.

Mancini said: "Stoke is a difficult, physical team, typically English. I watched them against Villa - they played well. It will be hard for us. But I hope it will be a good day for the supporters."

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