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Dec 7, 2012

Mancini: Lack of chief exec cost us targets

Roberto Mancini believes the lack of a chief executive played a major role in Manchester City missing out on their chief targets in the summer transfer market.

• Neville: Mancini needs to retain title
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• Preview: Man City v Man Utd
• Blog: Will derby scales tip to blue?

It took City 12 months to find a replacement for Garry Cook, who resigned after three years as chief executive in 2011, with the Premier League champions eventually appointing Ferran Soriano on August 17.

With little of the transfer window remaining, a frantic fortnight saw the arrivals of Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Maicon, Matija Nastasic, Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright at Eastlands.

But the high-profile players Mancini had hoped to buy, including Robin van Persie, Javi Martinez, Daniel Agger and Daniele De Rossi, all eluded City.

"The market is always difficult. We were also in a difficult moment. We changed the chief executive," Mancini said. "It meant [no one] was in charge at that moment and if you are not strong enough you can have some problems in the market. Now we can work."

And Mancini believes it is a reason why City, though unbeaten in the Premier League, have had an awkward start to the season.

He added: "Like I made some mistakes, like our players made some mistakes in the Champions League, probably we could do better in the summer. But it is in the past and we can do nothing now."

Mancini feels his current problem is that his strikers "can't score" and says City's prospects for the campaign depend upon their four forwards. In the last five games, they have only managed one goal in open play, scored by Mario Balotelli in the 2-0 win at Wigan.

But that is the Italian's only league goal this season while Edin Dzeko has only scored once as a starter and Carlos Tevez, after a prolific August, has been rather less productive since then and Sergio Aguero is yet to recapture the form he showed last season.

Mancini said: "Usually when you have four strikers maybe you have two or three who don't score but one who continues to score. In this moment, we have four players that can't score. This is unlucky. I think that our season depends on our strikers. If we start to score like last year we have a big chance."

At this point last season, City had scored 49 league goals. Now they only have 28 and while City have improved their defensive record of late, the lack of goals is worrying Mancini.

He added: "I don't think we have the same quality we had last season in the first 15 games. We have big problems with players injured. We had a problem with defenders when we conceded more goals at the start of the season. Now we have improved that situation and we need to work to improve the situation with the strikers."

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