First trophy is the hardest to win - Roberto Mancini speaks ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup clash with rivals United

Italian accepts pressure of achieving cup success at Eastlands as the Blues look to progress to the FA Cup final by beating rivals Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes that the first trophy for the Citizens in 35 years could spark a new era of success at Eastlands and mimic the trail blazing dominance of rivals Manchester United.

The two sides will meet in Saturday’s much anticipated FA Cup semi-final at Wembley with Mancini hoping to break over three decades of hurt for City fans and progress to the final next month.

Red Devil's manager Sir Alex Ferguson took four years to get his first cup success at Old Trafford and it came in the form of this very competition in 1990. Three years after, the Scotsman had claimed his first league title for the side and was the first championship win for 26 years.

Sir Alex has gone on to lead United to their greatest ever period in the club's history whilst City have had to play out their trophy drought watching their rivals claim all the glory and with the Blues surpassing £100 million spent on players, the pressure is on to deliver that first cup since 1976.

"I have respect for Manchester United because they have won everything for many years," Mancini told reporters.

"To begin with, they won a single trophy after a long time with nothing. Now we are in the same position.

"We can go on to do what United have done. We have a chance on Saturday and for this we should be happy."

Also adding pressure on the Italian is the shrunken scale of time he has to bring cup success to Eastlands compared that of his counterpart at United had 20 years ago, to which Mancini has excepted.

"It took Ferguson seven years to win the league," he said.

"Today is very different from 25 years ago. Today if you are a manager who wins nothing for six or seven years, it is difficult.

"After 15 months I am very happy in my job because I know how difficult it is to build a team to win trophies.

"The first trophy is the hardest one to win," Mancini added.

"It doesn't depend on the money you spend - every top club should spend money - but it is important to win a title. For this I think if we go into the final, we can change everything."

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