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Mancini optimistic about Man. City's prospects

  • AFP, Sunday, December 27, 2009 7 AM
After Manchester City won its first game with Roberto Mancini in charge, a 2-0 win over Stoke City, the Italian said his team could break into the English Premier League's top four this season. Mancini received a warm welcome from City fans and players, several of whom were close to his predecessor, Mark Hughes. Mancini started Robinho over Hughes ally Craig Bellamy, and the Brazilian, who rarely played well under Hughes, helped set up this first goal scored by Martin Petrov. On City's chances of finishing in the top four -- it is in sixth place, three points outside the top four -- Mancini said, "It is possible but to arrive in the top four we must work, work every day."

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