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Jun 4, 2013

Clichy bemoans 'sloppy' season

Gael Clichy has declared that next season cannot be any worse than this year for Manchester City.

• Blog: Welcoming party awaits

The left-back, who signed a new four-year contract last month, believes the 2012 Premier League champions hit rock bottom this year - because they did not win any silverware.

Now the former Arsenal defender is targeting a "perfect" season as City, who will announce Manuel Pellegrini as their next manager shortly, look to respond after what Clichy deemed a "sloppy" year.

"This season was really hard but I can feel something coming right for us," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"We can't get worse than this year because we haven't won anything - but I really have a nice feeling for next season.

"We have to start well and see if we can have a perfect season. It's like anything - if you start well, you have a really good chance of doing something. This season we started sloppily and finished sloppily.

"You have to work hard. The quality is there but if you don't work hard you don't get anything.

"I really believe this is the place to be. When you see where the club is going, it has been progressing for the last five years.

"We'll have players coming in again this summer. So when you look at everything, you can't think things are going to go wrong."

Clichy, who has won league titles with both Arsenal and City, expects a more competitive title race next season and warned that Manchester United will remain strong, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

He added: "I'm sure Ferguson will be around, he won't just leave. He'll be giving [David] Moyes advice, they are good friends apparently.

"I'm sure he's going to help him out and United - as we all know - is a huge machine. They know how to win things, control things - they've been doing it for 25 years.

"Ferguson will still be there looking out for the club. They have the same players and the attitude they had - particularly last season - you can't go wrong.

"It's probably going to be tougher than ever because Chelsea will be stronger. We'll be stronger, so will Arsenal and United will always be there."

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