Roberto Mancini reacts angrily to further questions over Monaco talks

 

Roberto Mancini lost his temper as he felt the need to defend his commitment to Manchester City ahead of this week's crucial clash with Ajax.

The City boss feels he deserves more respect from the media for his achievements at the club rather than continual speculation about his future.

Mancini reacted angrily when asked a further question about claims from last week that he spoke to wealthy Ligue 2 club Monaco before the end of the last season.

The Italian neither confirmed nor denied the reports were true last Friday when he ambiguously said that he had been "close to seven or eight teams".

Those remarks have been interpreted in different ways, either as a flippant response to speculation linking him with other jobs or as confirmation he really did speak to several other clubs.

But when asked for clarification as he met media to preview the Ajax game, he said: "I don't understand why you continue to ask me (about) last year, last month. This is finished.

"Why? Why, for which reason? Why do you continue to ask me, 'Last year you had a chance to go'?

"I stay here because my work is here. I worked for two years. I built with the chairman and the owner, this team. We won three trophies in two years. For 50 years we didn't win. Never."

The reports claimed Mancini was offered a big-money contract by Monaco but he opted to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

He went on to guide City to the Barclays Premier League crown - their first title in 44 years - and was rewarded with a new five-year contract.

That success followed FA Cup triumph in 2011 and with the Community Shield since added, Mancini, appointed three years ago next month, wants people to recognise he is in it for the long haul.

With the conjecture over his future having dominated the build-up to Saturday's game against West Ham - further questions have arisen following the appointment of new director of football Txiki Begiristain - Mancini is clearly getting irritated.

Continuing his outburst, the 47-year-old said: "You need to have respect for the people sometimes.

"I don't understand why you continue to ask me this. Why?

"You asked me one question. I am polite because I answered your question and the other questions.

"But I also didn't answer because I was there to talk about West Ham. I am polite because I answered, I said it is true - 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 because I worked for two-and-a-half years, I worked hard.

"The future will be easy because when you have a new team the strong work is the first few years when you need to build your team.

"But we won three trophies in two years. I think you should have respect for this, for me, for the club, for the players. I don't understand why every time we talk about this."

The heat has also been turned up on Mancini because of his side's underwhelming start in the Champions League.

City have collected just one point from their opening three games in Group D and are in danger of early elimination for a second successive season.

Mancini is well aware his team must beat Ajax at Eastlands to retain any hope of reaching the knockout stages but the task is made even harder by a host of injuries.

Joleon Lescott and James Milner are the latest additions to a casualty list that already includes David Silva, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards.

Mancini said: "We have this problem with some important players injured but when you have this problem, it is a time that all the players can put more on the pitch. Tomorrow is the last chance for us."

Mancini has reiterated his belief that City's continuing European struggles should be put in the context of the club's relative inexperience on the stage.

It is only the club's second season in the Champions League and, as with last year, they have a particularly tough group with Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid all domestic champions.

Mancini said: "In the Champions League there are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Manchester United that have more experience than us.

"We play Champions League for the second year, probably we need to work more for this.

"This time we again took a difficult group and you need to work hard.

"When you are in a group with Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax, you can go out. It is possible."

Mancini expects owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak to be disappointed with the European predicament but does not feel undue pressure.

He said: "They are upset for this but this is normal, like me. I don't think they are happy.

"For me, to work with these people is fantastic. You can work without problem. They always support the team."

PA

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