By Andy Sambidge
Coach of Abu Dhabi-owned Man City says it will be hard to defend Premier League title
The coach of Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City has said he believes it will be harder for the club to defend their Premier League title than it was winning it for the first time in 44 years.
Speaking for the first time since he signed a new five-year contract, Roberto Mancini outlined what he expects to achieve between now and 2017.
Mancini also said he felt it necessary that the squad be strengthened this summer and shrugged off speculation surrounding the splitting up of his strike force of Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez.
“I think such speculation is normal; we have four top strikers and all the other teams in Europe would like strikers like them,” he said.
Speaking to the club's official website, Mancini said: “We did a good job for the last two years and I hope we can do a better one in the next five.
“But we cannot rest or start thinking that because we won the title that we are the best."
He added: “It is more difficult to win the title when you are defending champions. We start again as if from nothing; we must forget that we won the title. Every team will want to beat us and we must work harder than ever.
“I think there are four or five teams that can challenge but now, before the transfer window is closed, I think United and Chelsea will challenge us for the title.”
On the future of Carlos Tevez, he added: “After January last year the problems with Carlos were finished. He came back to Manchester and his behaviour was good. He played a lot of games and scored important goals that helped us win the title.
“Now he has started the pre-season training very well.”
The club was bought by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) in 2008 and his investment of nearly $1bn saw the club go from underachievers to be crowned Premier League champions 2012.
However, the team’s success has come at a cost. It announced losses of £194.9m ($307.4m) for the 2010-11 financial year, which represents one of the biggest-ever reported losses by an English Premier League club.
"spend spend spend "as dan akroyd famously said ! come on mancini get martinez a cente back and a winger and will will be very hard to beat.