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Pressure on Roberto Mancini to placate owner

Tuesday, 6 November 2012 - 6:45pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2012 - 6:46pm IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph

Mancini has admitted that the Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, is 'upset' by the club's Champions League failings.
  • Reuters

Roberto Mancini has admitted that the Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, is "upset" by the club's Champions League failings.

Mancini, who claims he has only 11 fit players for the crucial Group D fixture against Ajax at the Etihad Stadium, could see his team eliminated from the competition on Tuesday if the Dutch champions are not beaten.

A second successive exit at the Champions League group stage would further add to Mancini's unimpressive record in the competition - he has never taken a team beyond the quarter-finals

However, the Italian insists he shares Sheikh Mansour's frustrations with City's results against the cream of Europe.

"The owners are upset [by the results] but this is normal, I think," Mancini said. "I don't think that they are happy, but for me to work with these people is fantastic because you can work without problems.

"They always support the team and to have an owner and chairman like this is very important for any manager. When we lose or only take one point, like against West Ham, I am disappointed. But this is normal and it is the same for the owner and chairman."

Having bristled at questions about his commitment to the club following interest from Monaco before he signed a new five-year contract in the summer, Mancini gave a defiant defence of his record as City manager.

While a group stage exit would be regarded as a failure by the club's Abu Dhabi owners, there are no moves to part company with Mancini, particularly with the club unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

"My work is here, I've worked for two years and I built with the chairman and owner this team," Mancini said.

"We won three trophies in two years, but for 35 years we didn't win anything - never.

"Every year I can have two or three new situations where I can go, but I want to stay here, I decided to stay here at this club because I have worked hard."

Mancini admits City's injury problems are likely to pose the biggest hurdle to success against Ajax.

"We will find 11 players who can play this important game," he said. "We have a problem with some important players injured, but when you have this problem, it's the kind that means the players should give more on the pitch.

"Last year, at this stage in the Premier League, we scored 36 goals and now we have scored 18.

"We have important players injured but we are still two points behind Manchester United, so after 10 games, I don't think we have a big problem."

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