New Manchester City coach targets EPL title as CEO goes on the defensive over Hughes.
|Sylvinho and Lescott were part of Hughes’ big spending spree last August [GALLO/GETTY]|
Manchester City defender Sylvinho has said players at Eastlands will have to forget about Mark Hughes’s departure as manager.
Hughes was sacked on Saturday after a 4-3 home win over Sunderland in the English Premier League, even though the victory left City sixth in the table, and at the same time the club announced Roberto Mancini as their new boss.
Many observers felt Hughes had been harshly treated but Sylvinho said everyone at the club should now get behind former Inter Milan boss Mancini ahead of the Italian’s first game in charge, against Stoke on Saturday.
“Sometimes these things happen when you are talking about football at this level and as a player you have to be prepared to adapt quickly,” Sylvinho told City’s official website.
“Whatever happens, we try to do our best. We can’t be thinking about Mark Hughes, who was a good manager trying to do his best for the club, there is no time. Football changes too quickly,” the Brazilian left-back added.
“As a professional you have to work hard for the new coach because you know that in a few days you have another important game, and as the Premier League is difficult, you must prepare properly.”
Sorting out City’s defence – they’ve conceded three goals in each of their last three games – would appear to be the priority for Mancini, who has said he wants to get the club into the top four by the end of the season.
But Sylvinho said of Mancini: “He doesn’t just concentrate on the defence.
“Yes, he is tactical, the Italian League is one of the best in the world.
“He will try to make the team safe, but he wants to get all the positions correct. I think he’ll be good for us.”
Saturday December 26
Birmingham v Chelsea
Sunday December 27
Arsenal v Aston Villa
With the transfer window looming and Kolo Toure on African Nations Cup duty after Saturday’s match and Nedum Onuoha and Joleon Lescott injured, there has already been speculation about the defenders Mancini might sign in January.
City’s Abu Dhabi-based billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour has already spent over 300 million dollars on bringing players to Eastlands but Sylvinho stressed how important it was for the existing squad to deliver points over the busy Christmas period.
“We’re not just out to impress, most of us are experienced players,” he said.
“We’ll try to win the points.
“Winning games gets you higher in the table and that gives you confidence to be a bit more comfortable.
“Stoke is now very important and they are going to be hard to beat.
“We will have to work very hard and keep our concentration to win the game, and that means everyone in the team.”