Failure not an option for Mancini and De Jong
- 15 March 2012 08:54
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Tonight's showdown with Sporting Lisbon and the run-in to the end of the Premier League season are focussing minds how City's season will be judged in today's media coverage.
What they say is the same, so it's a case of seeing what context they are put in. Tim Rich in the Independent is straight and to the point:
"For Manchester City, it will be silverware or bust. Overtaken by the relentless march of Manchester United and facing elimination from the Europa League this evening, neither the manager nor his senior players will take any comfort from finishing second, a height the club has not scaled since 1977.
Both Roberto Mancini and Nigel de Jong argued that after all they had achieved this season, finishing without a trophy would be tantamount to failure. Neither man was prepared for the easy argument that a second-placed finish would still represent progress.
"'Our target is to win a trophy; our main goal is to win the Premier League," said De Jong before tonight's encounter with Sporting Lisbon, where City will try to overturn a 1-0 deficit. "The only way we can succeed this season is to win one of the prizes. After we won the FA Cup, everybody became hungry for more. That has to be the ambition of this club.'"
Shedding tears - or not - has been a theme of the week, and the manager revisits it on The World Game site:
"Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has told his players they 'can't cry' after surrendering the initiative in the Premier League title race.
"'We can't cry, now is the time to be strong and keep going. We have a top team and we have time to recover. We can't cry because we are one point behind Manchester United.
“‘We have 10 games, our fortune is in our hands and we can change it if we want to.'"
"We have a great affection for him, he was the fans' favourite player of all time," Cerezo is quoted by AS as saying.
"He did not leave Atletico the right way and it was his fault that this did not happen.
"He could have left perfectly well and with the support of the fans, but up to this day, we have not heard anything from him."
Er, with over 20 goals in his first season here, he's been kind of busy...