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May 14, 2012

Kaldoon: Farewell to "typical City"

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak believes Sunday's events at the Etihad Stadium have consigned the phrase "typical City" to the dustbin. He also said that Roberto Mancini's constant underplaying of his team's chances took the pressure off City's players and able to recover their challenge for the Premier League title.

• Fergie: City '100 years' behind us
• City win title in injury time

Chairman Khaldoon believes history has been rewritten and the club can now step from out of the shadow of Manchester United.

"Everyone will have their own experience of what happened yesterday," he told the club's official website. "I don't think any league will be decided like that for many years to come.

"Maybe some people imagined it was 'typical City'. We are not typical City. We have destroyed that thought. This is not a team that is going to lie down. Now we want to forget about 'typical City'.

"This club wants to win more than anything and will fight for that until the last kick of the game."

Khaldoon revealed the course of the season changed after a post-match chat with manager Roberto Mancini last month, immediately after City had suffered a 1-0 defeat that left them eight points adrift of Manchester United with only six matches of the campaign remaining.

"We had two choices," he said. "We could either raise the white flag and sulk or pick ourselves up and fight until the last second of this championship.

"I remember going down to the dressing room thinking we were not giving up. Something inside me said there was more to it.

"I had a conversation with Roberto. We both looked at each other and decided to take the pressure off everyone. We felt if we could win all our games and have a bit of luck, we could still pull it off. What Roberto did magnificently was to take the pressure off the entire team."

It was suggested after that Arsenal game that if things did not improve, Mancini would probably be sacked this summer but "Roberto is a winner," said Khaldoon.

"He is a very strong character, who wants to win more than anyone I have ever seen. He is so driven and has an incredible amount of energy.

"We have got very close over the years and I know how he works.

"We have all learned a lot and have managed some very difficult situations over the season.

"We have achieved our objective and won the league and a lot of credit for that must go to his managerial skills."

Of course, none of it would have been possible without the largesse of owner Sheikh Mansour, who has spent upwards of £1billion on his City project, which is set to expand even more once construction begins on a massive new training and academy project a stone's throw away from the stadium.

As is his preference, Sheikh Mansour remained at home in Abu Dhabi yesterday, although he watched every second on TV as City won their first title for 44 years.

"He has not missed a single minute of football this club has played this season," said Khaldoon.

"Even if the match is not on TV, he finds a way to watch it. Yesterday was a rollercoaster for him and the telephone conversation I had with him afterwards was one of the most ecstatic ever."

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