Lack of big-name signings cost Manchester City their Premier League title, says boss Roberto Mancini

By Paddy von Behr

Manchester City would be on course to retain the Premier League title had they landed important signings last summer, according to manager Roberto Mancini.

City clinched the title on the final day of last season, but now sit 15 points adrift of Manchester United and out of Europe.

And, ahead of Monday night’s derby, Mancini puts this drop down to a lack of quality summer signings, while United have continued to improve.

“We had the chance to get important players,” he said. “Players that this year could have been the difference in this team.

“We would probably be at the top – probably also in a Champions League quarter-final.

“But it is useless to talk about this now.”

Sir Alex Ferguson beat the Italian to the signature of Robin van Persie – now United’s top scorer – but Mancini is looking to the future.

Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Matija Nastasic were all signed with long-term in mind and the City boss insists this approach will pay dividends.

“We need to improve as a team and as a club, but for this we need more years – we can’t do this in two years,” Mancini said.

“I think in ten years, if we improve, if we win the league every year, it will be the same for us.

“You can’t win every year. Last year United didn’t win anything, apart from the Charity Shield – but they continued to improve their team.”

As for tonight’s Old Trafford derby, the 48-year-old believes City can upset the league leaders and keep their slim title hopes alive.

“Every team that plays against United plays very softly because they think ‘this game is difficult, we cannot beat them’,” Mancini added.

“I don’t think that other teams don’t play 100% but their mentality is poor in that game because they don’t think they can do anything.

“But that is not true if you go there and play with a good mentality. In football, you can beat every team.”

Image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks.

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