Roberto Mancini's job is safe even if Manchester City miss out on Premier League title, says club owner Sheikh Mansour

Sheikh Mansour ‘very happy and satisfied’ with Italian’s efforts in rare statement on club affairs

The Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan suggested last night that manager Roberto Mancini's job is secure, even if the club lose to Manchester United next Monday night in what may be the title decider.

Sheikh Mansour, whose public comments on City are extremely rare, told Abu Dhabi television yesterday, as his club found the title within their own hands after Manchester United's 4-4 draw with Everton preceded their own triumph at Wolves, that "the difference is three points and we do have a chance. But whatever happens and even if we don't win [on Monday], I am very happy and satisfied with the players, the team and the management. They have performed very well and have improved in their last few matches."

Mancini's performance this season will be subject to a post-season review by Sheikh Mansour's representative, club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, and after the defeat at Arsenal two weeks ago it was clear that recovery was as significant as the title. City have subsequently won three successive games, scoring 12 goals in the process.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has, meanwhile, avoided any temptation to foster tension between the two clubs ahead of the impending clash by rejecting the notion, stated in the past by his defender Patrice Evra, that United versus City is "passion versus cash". Speaking on the French radio station RMC yesterday, Ferguson said of that notion: "It's not really accurate. I do not agree with that. It is true that Manchester City have become incredibly rich. But it's not the fact that there is a new owner and new ambitions which necessarily change things. The difference is perhaps that we're trying to build with youth."

Ferguson's determination to build a new cohort of young players to bequeath to his successor has certainly become a passion for him, and he confirmed that he had attended a recent match between Lyons and Lille to watch Lille's Eden Hazard, among others. "When I came to the match, I followed Eden Hazard of course, but also other players. It's part of my job to pursue others. Hazard is a very good player. He has many qualities. He is particularly rapid in the first [10] yards," said Ferguson, who has told Dimitar Berbatov's agent that he is ready to jettison the Bulgarian because he wants more pace in his side.

City midfielder Yaya Touré yesterday said that his side were "surprised" to have been given a "fantastic" chance to beat United to the Premier League title, starting next Monday night, and dismissed Mancini's pretence that the trophy is out of reach by declaring that the club would win their remaining three games, with Newcastle and QPR to follow.

The Football Association is not expected to take any action against Touré over images which appeared to show him making a two-fingered gesture in the direction of Wolves fans. Though Liverpool's Luis Suarez received a one-game ban and a £20,000 fine for making a hand gesture towards Fulham fans after apparently receiving abuse during a game, the governing body is understood to be satisfied that Touré was issuing an instruction to a team-mate.

Andre Marriner, who officiated United's controversial defeat against Liverpool this season – a game overshadowed by the Evra-Suarez racism row – will referee next Monday's game. Ferguson was critical of Marriner after his side lost 2-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in September 2009, claiming the referee struggled to deal with the intimidating atmosphere.

Though Mancini maintained his pretence after the Molineux win that only United can be champions, the real picture is that his quest to depose them took on an element of revenge on the day that United dumped his side out of the FA Cup on 8 January. To the Italian's deep indignation, Ferguson accused City captain Vincent Kompany, sent off that day, of being a serially dangerous tackler.

Mancini's allusion to that match in his post-match press conference at Wolves was no coincidence. "When we played the FA Cup in January, we gave them a gift. They won. But Monday will be a different game," he said. This was an unmistakable declaration of intent.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?