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Thursday 27 April 2017

Mancini feels City form can point way to taking prized European spot

Mark Ogden

AFTER passing 100 days in charge of Manchester City, Roberto Mancini claims they are now in a three-way race for the Champions League. They are also on course to meet the club's 'points trajectory' requirements that ultimately cost Mark Hughes his job as manager.

Mancini, who has confirmed he will accept an English FA charge of improper conduct following last week's touchline clash with Everton manager David Moyes, ticked off his 100th day in charge of City on Wednesday.

The crux of Hughes' departure centred on the 'results trajectory' before his dismissal which saw the team draw eight, lose one and win one of their 10 league games preceding the Sunderland fixture.

That team amassed 29 points from 17 games, at an average of 1.7 points a game. Having been set a 70-point target by chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak at the start of the campaign, Hughes was on course to reach only 64 points.

target

Mancini, in contrast, will take charge of his 15th Premier League game when City travel to Burnley tomorrow.

To date, Mancini's City have won eight, drawn three and lost three of his 14 league games. By collecting 27 points, City under Mancini are delivering an average of 1.93 points a game.

Over a 38-game season, that would be 73 points and would take City beyond the 70-point pre-season target.

"Villa have fallen back and, while football can always produce something new, I think it's Tottenham, City and Liverpool who are now in opposition for fourth place," said the Italian.

Stephen Ireland, meanwhile, has little or no chance of recovering from an ankle injury in time to play against Burnley at Turf Moor. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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