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Dec 21, 2009

Mancini targets top four finish

Manchester City have officially unveiled Roberto Mancini as their new manager, with the former Inter Milan boss targeting a top four finish with his new club.

Mancini, who answered questions in broken English, outlined his plans for the Eastlands outfit, after a long statement from City's chief executive Garry Cook - defending the club's actions in sacking Mark Hughes.

Mancini said: "My target this season is to arrive in the top four. Then next season we will go for the Premier League. That is my target and I think it is possible. "

"The pressure is okay, it is no problem. Staying at Inter for four years was a record. I want to see the players this week and then after we make a decision on the team. My job is to work hard every day to improve the play, to improve the victories. This is all."

The Italian, who played in the Premier League with Leicester City ten years ago, revealed he has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Eastlands and admitted he was looking forward to the challenge.

"I think I want to stay here for many years and win many trophies. I think City has great supporters and I hope we do a good job for them," Mancini said. "I think I can do a good job because we have good players.''

Chief executive Cook admitted that Mancini had been signed up before Hughes was sacked on Saturday evening, but became visibly angry when pressed about the details and insisted there was "no conspiracy".

"We negotiated on Thursday, finalised an agreement on Friday and he was not in the stadium on Saturday as was falsely reported," Cook said.

"The intention was to tell Mark immediately after the game on Saturday. That would give Roberto and his team a full week to prepare for the next game. Regrettably, and despite our best efforts, rumours of discussions with Roberto Mancini became public before the game."

Mancini expressed sympathy for his predecessor, saying: "I'm sorry for Mark but when we start this job, this situation is possible.

"My job is a manager. I stayed in Italy for four years and I won seven trophies. At the end of the season they sacked me. This is our job. I don't want to look back.''

The former Lazio boss took training with the City players for the first time on Monday and Mancini said he would assess the current squad before deciding whether to bring in any players of his own.

"I want to see this week the players and after we'll make a decision. For now it's important we concentrate on Stoke."

The Potters provide Mancini with his first test at Eastlands on Saturday. A trip to Wolves follows and his third match will be an FA Cup tie against Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough.

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