Mancini's pride in his six Lions
- 10 September 2010 09:24
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Roberto Mancini has expressed his pride in the England Six - but declared that City's half-dozen history men had earned their place in Fabio Capello's European Championship side.
Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and James Milner all started Tuesday night's 3-1 triumph in Switzerland, and they were joined off the bench by wingers Shaun Wright-Phillips and goalscorer Adam Johnson.
Never before have so many Blues worn the Three Lions in the same team, and smiling manager Mancini said: "It was very important for the club because it is the first time there have been six of our players.
"It has happened in Italy before with Juventus players, but I think it is unusual here in England. For England to have six City players is something everybody at the club is very proud of, myself included.
"I am happy for them because all these players deserved to be in the England team, because they have worked very well this last month and in pre-season, and they have had a reward for that."
The Blues boss, who signed Milner this summer after landing Johnson in January and installing Hart as his No.1 goalkeeper, has made a point of building a title-seeking squad with a nucleus of English players.
He said: "I believe it is important that we have that because of the English mentality. I want the core of the squad to be Englishmen, and we have signed English players despite what sometimes gets said by the media."
Mancini was able to welcome back his England heroes without any significant damage - Lescott, currently at left-back for City but deployed at centre-half by Fabio Capello, expects to shake off a dead leg.
The boss said: "Those who are back are tired after two international matches in a few days, but they will recover and be prepared by the time we play Blackburn on Saturday."