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De Jong craving the gongs

NIGEL de Jong believes Manchester City's breakthrough FA Cup triumph last season has given the players the hunger to achieve even greater success.

The Dutch midfielder insists City "have to go for every prize" during the current campaign because they have now found "the right combination" as a team.

The strength in depth at Roberto Mancini's (pictured right) disposal has been highlighted in the past week. City fielded completely different line-ups in thrashing Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League and Wolves 5-2 at Molineux in the league cup.

De Jong said: "The FA Cup success gave us the taste for winning things. Manchester City hadn't won anything with the group of players so, to win the FA Cup as a group last year, only made us hungry for more success because the enjoyment after no-one forgets.

"Every player in the squad wants that same feeling again.

"We just have to go for every prize. The Carling Cup, with all respect, is the smallest cup out there on a domestic basis. But a prize is still a prize.


"You've got to start somewhere and we started great last season with winning the FA Cup and doing well in the Premier League, and now we are doing well in the Carling Cup.

"Like I said, we just have to go for every prize. If that means the quickest way to success, that means the Carling Cup."

De Jong believes the majority of the squad have reaped the benefits of last season.

He said: "Last season, with a lot of new and fresh faces, we were searching for the right combination.

"Now with the squad gelling, we have the experience from over a year now in the Premier League and the players are settling in well.

"It isn't that difficult for players to blend in."

De Jong is also excited by the young talent at Mancini's disposal with the likes of Luca Scapuzzi, Abdul Razak, Karim Rekik and Denis Suarez all impressing against Wolves.

He said: "You have to give credit to the young guys who came on the pitch against Wolves -- Luca Scapuzzi, Abdul Razak, Karim Rekik, Denis Suarez.


"We've got a lot of talent. It is not only about buying players.

"It is also mixing in the youth and we saw that.

"These kids can be really good. Obviously if you train amongst such a high level of players every day, they can keep improving and become better and better by the day.

"But they are still young and will progress as long as the gaffer gives them a couple of chances.

"It is good for youngsters to play. These are exciting times not only for the senior players but the ones who have come from the youth and reserve teams.

"I've been young myself, I've been 17-18 so I know how exciting those times are if you can play with the first team players."