WE FANCY A DOUBLE
Mancini wants domestic & Euro titles FC PORTO v MANCHESTER CITY Thursday, ITV1, 8pm
ROBERTO MANCINI has vowed that Man City are going all-out for Europa League glory – despite their title push.
The Blues are in the running for a first league title since 1968, sitting two points clear of rivals Man United.
They were dumped out of their first ever Champions League campaign at the group stage after failing against Napoli.
Mancini is under pressure to deliver the Premier League title and his squad is so stretched that he is even set to recall AWOL Argie frontman Carlos Tevez.
But Yaya and Kolo Toure will fly direct to Portugal to link up with the squad after the heartbreak of losing the African Nations Cup.
And Italian bad boy Mario Balotelli is also set to return from a four-match domestic ban.
As long as Mancini is able to avoid injuries, he is adamant that City are gunning for the Europa League final in Bucharest in May.
He said: “We want to go to the final. It will be difficult because they are a top squad, but we want to go.
“This game against Porto will be important because they are a good team.
“For this reason it will be important to have all the players available without injuries because we can change some players but we want to do the best we can.”
Mancini has ordered his stars to build up a significant advantage by the time they host United in the third-last Premier League game of the campaign.
City have led from the front all season but Mancini is desperate to build up a cushion and get the job done early.
He added: “If you are there and fighting until the last game against United or Tottenham, this can happen, why not? But we know that everything depends on us.”
Centre-half Joleon Lescott is hoping the Toure brothers will be swept up in the overflowing confidence that is surrounding City.
The duo could feature in Mancini’s squad in Portugal on Thursday after more than a month away with the Ivory Coast.
Mancini admits that Yaya will be knackered, while Kolo missed a spot-kick in the shootout defeat by Zambia in Sunday’s final.
But Lescott is sure that high-flying City can get them back on track.
He said: “Confidence is so high it’s a joke, but obviously we’ve got big games coming up.
“It’s important not to get complacent and arrogant with the confidence.
“Hopefully they will come back with plenty of confidence from the Ivory Coast.” vest, but Liverpool handled it badly and paid the price.
A sorry, an admission of – at least – a misunderstanding early on could have made a big difference.
Instead, the Reds sent the Liverbird flying with a big “f*** you” trailing from its tail.
Saturday was the chance to start building bridges. To win back some respect. To show some class.
Suarez told the club he’d shake Patrice Evra’s hand. Liverpool passed on the message and waited for their employee to comply.
Then Suarez decided he was bigger than Liverpool Football Club and acted like a kid denied a gobstopper in a sweetshop. In not shaking Evra’s hand he gave the bird to Dalglish and bared his arse to the Liverpool support in the blink of an eye.
Phone-number wages and hero worship throughout a sorry saga that began with the Uruguayan referencing skin colour on an English footy pitch are clearly not enough for Luis. veryone connected with Liverpool has received more flak than a tank for their stance on Suarez, and it’s no surprise. They planted the mines and pressed the plunger themselves with a gaffe-packed strategy that should someone ever film a
DVD will surely feature in the opening credits.
Suarez could have welded some metal with a split-second press of the flesh. Instead, he loaded a rocket launcher, pointed it at Anfield and pressed fire.
And Liverpool is now public enemy number one… again.
Now club sponsors are getting jittery and absentee American owners have woken from their Stateside slumber.
Ian Ayre, the Liverpool MD, has also jolted into action.
Sorrys have been scattergunned about, but the horseteeth has bolted.
Now it’s up to Suarez to rein it in. No more scowls or sulks. No more hair pulling or verbals.
He owes Liverpool big time and must now do his talking with the bits of his body that Dalglish paid all that money for – his feet.
KEY MAN: Mancini
could welcome back Yaya Toure
SHAKE: See Luis, it isn’t that