First Team News

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Boss gearing up for the big kick-off



Roberto Mancini wishes he could have had another couple of weeks of pre-season training before the start of the 2010/11 Barclays Premier League campaign.

The bulk of City's squad returned for training in early July, but the demands of the World Cup meant that several City stars had to rest until just a few days ago.

That has left the Manager with a relatively short space of time to work with his full complement of players, and a round of midweek internationals has reduced that further. But he admits that's a problem facing many of his counterparts leading into this weekend, which the Blues will kick off at White Hart Lane.

"We couldn't have all the players together until very recently," he declares. "Many played in the World Cup, so some only started pre-season here a week ago. Now many are away again for international matches, and it's a big problem. I don't think I'll have all the players at 100% for another 20 days, but this is a problem for every squad with good players like we have.

"I only had everyone for two days before Valencia, and David and Carlos only started their pre-season a week before, which is not great for us. I would have liked another two weeks training with them, but of course that has not been an option."

Nevertheless, Roberto is enthusiastic about preparing for the start of a league campaign in England for the first time.

"I'm excited, it's going to be a big year for us. I would have liked to have another 20 days together with the squad, because we want the whole squad to the same level, so for that reason it's so important that we start the season well. That's also why I wanted to build up the squad so we have plenty to choose from in each position."

I hope we can start well on Saturday. It's a big game to start with, so if we work well with the right attitude we can get a good result.

...Roberto Mancini.


Although City start against Spurs, Roberto has cast aside any thoughts of revenge against the side that edged City out of a place in the Champions League.

"Revenge? No, not revenge but we have to start the Premier League as well as we can. We must have the right mentality, and I want us to play the same way, home or away."

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