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Dec, 3, 2012

Maicon backs City in UCL

Maicon has backed Manchester City to win the Champions League soon, but says the difference between the Premier League and European competition has cost them dear so far.

• Blog: A blue straitjacket

City have failed to make it past the group stage of the Champions League for two successive seasons leading to question marks over manager Roberto Mancini's tactical approach.

But Maicon, a Champions League winner with Inter Milan in 2010, believes City are making visible progress that will see them keep improving.

"There is nothing missing at City. It is a great club and is working to get better in the Champions League," he said. "You can see us progressing on a monthly basis.

"The club is growing all the time, and sooner or later City will win the Champions League because everyone is working for that. The big difference is that here you have to play in the Premier League as well as trying to do well in the Champions League. It is a very different competition.

"They are great players here, but they need more experience of the Champions League. You have to tune in to playing in Europe, as it is very different to playing in your home league."

City play German champions Borussia Dortmund in their final Champions League Group D game on Tuesday and they have to better Ajax's result against Real Madrid in order to secure a Europa League spot - something Maicon is keen to do.

"We are playing for pride on Tuesday, but also for practical reasons, because we want to carry on playing in Europe, even if it is not in the top competition," he said. "The Europa League is important to us, so we need to try to stay in Europe until the end of the season if we can."

After a slow start to life in the Premier League, Maicon has started four of City's last five games and the Brazil international believes his attacking style is well suited to the style employed by his team.

"I am enjoying life in Manchester - everything's fine," he said. "I am a family man so the first thing that is important to me I that my family is okay. When they are settled, as they are now, my mind is only on training.

"I am training very well, to contribute to the team. The team is full of quality players, and the way City play they give the full-backs the ball and get them to attack. This suits my game.

"I am only sorry that I couldn't contribute at the start of the season because of my injury. Little by little I am getting back to my best, and trying to add something to the team."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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