City title triumph will benefit league- Mancini

Last updated : 13 May 2012 By AFP

City go into what promises to be a thrilling final day of the season level on 86 points with neighbours Manchester United.

But City's vastly superior goal difference means Mancini's side will secure a first top-flight crown in 44 years if they defeat relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers at Eastlands.

United, who are away at mid-table Sunderland, have won the title five times since Arsenal triumphed in the 2001-02 season.

In the same period, Chelsea have been crowned champions three times, while London rivals Arsenal also finished top in the 2003-04 campaign.

And Mancini believes it will be healthy for the Premier League if City secure their first top-tier success in 44 years.

"Sometimes if there are other teams, and not the usual ones like the last 10 years, it is good for the championship," said Mancini, when asked if it would be good if City won the title.

"My players know that they have everything there. They work hard and fight every game for one year in a championship that is very hard. Now they have a big chance.

"We showed that we are a strong team with a good mentality and I think we should do the same on Sunday."

City trailed United by eight points after losing 1-0 at Arsenal on April 8.

But while Sir Alex Ferguson's side have won just two of the last five league games, rampant City have secured a maximum 15 points from the same number of matches to turn the title race upside down.

Mancini believes that defeat against Arsenal was a key moment in the title race.

"In that moment it was good for us because all the pressure lifted," added City's Italian manager.

"We always believed, even when we were eight points behind."

Mancini, meanwhile, said he understood what winning the title would mean for City's long-suffering supporters.

"We haven't won the title for almost 50 years and we are in a city where our cousins win every year. That is very difficult for our supporters. I hope I can change this," he said.

"Do I enounter the supporters? Yes, I do. They are very happy at this moment. They tell me I am a fantastic manager, the best manager!

"They want us to win one more game."

Queens Park Rangers, managed by former City coach Mark Hughes, will be relegated if they lose and fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers win at Stoke City.

Hughes, sacked by City in December 2009, was keen to play down inevitable talk of revenge ahead of his return to Eastlands.

"I wouldn't take any satisfaction from that," said the former Manchester United centre-forward.

"If we get a result, I would be more pleased for everybody connected with Queens Park Rangers. I would be pleased for my players as it would be a huge achievement."

Hughes, who succeeded the sacked Neil Warnock in January at Loftus Road, is confident a traumatic campaign will finally end on a high note.

"It has not been easy this season," he added. "I came in halfway through a very difficult season and it has been arguably the most difficult job I've had to date.

"We have turned things around to get to where we need to be and we will see where it takes us. But we just want to make sure we are in the Premier League."

Hughes has a selection problem in midfield as Samba Diakite, Shaun Derry and Akos Buzsaky are all doubts.

Former City players Joey Barton, Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips are set to feature against their old club.

Source: AFP

Source: AFP