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Rock Zouma enjoys a fine debut season

Chelsea
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Aguero: Mancini should be valued

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero believes that manager Roberto Mancini deserves more credit despite the team's flagging title hopes and another European failure.

• Preview: Southampton v Man City
• Dall: City stare into eyes of failure

Since taking over from Mark Hughes in December 2009, the Italian coach has brought the FA Cup and the Premier League title to the Etihad Stadium.

However, that success has come at great expense to the club's middle-eastern owners, who have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on players since they took over the club in 2008.

City currently trail local rivals Manchester United by nine points at the top of the Premier League tale as they bid to retain their first league championship for 44 years, and a second successive failure to guide the club out of their Champions League group has also added to the pressure on Mancini.

But, Aguero - himself a club-record £35 million signing - believes that Mancini should be respected for what he has achieved at the club, and praised his hands-on approach to coaching.

"Roberto is a very hard-working coach who has won important trophies that should be valued by everyone," Aguero is quoted as saying in The Sun.

"I have a good personal relationship with him, too. He talks to me a lot in training, tells me what kind of movements I should make."

City have the chance to close the gap on United to six points on Saturday when they travel to Southampton, a day before the league leaders host Everton.

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