Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini hopes that his side can force Manchester United’s fans to remove a banner mocking the Blues’ long wait for a trophy after scoring a derby victory in the FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley.
A permanent reminder of City’s 35-year trophyless run takes pride on the Stretford End stand at Old Trafford, but having secured their place in the FA Cup final thanks to Yaya Toure’s second-half strike, Mancini feels that his side can go on to secure a piece of silverware to end the drought.
Speaking after the win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, the Italian spoke of his determination to not only win a trophy this season but also challenge for the title next term.
He said: “I think we can take down this banner soon. But we hope we can take it down this year.
“This result was important because our mentality will be much stronger for beating United.
“United played with the best team - without Wayne Rooney but we played without Carlos Tevez - and that was important for us.
“We have shown we can beat every team because this season we have beaten Chelsea, Liverpool and now United.
“And if we win the FA Cup then I think we can challenge for the title next season. But we will finish in the top four this season.”
The former Inter boss also defended his transfer dealings since taking over at Eastlands, having spent over £150 million on restructuring the side.
He continued: “Many times people ask me about spending. But we didn’t buy Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, we bought young players, good players and all of them need to improve because, for many, it’s their first year in England.
“Many years ago, when fantastic players came to England like Eric Cantona, they had a difficult start. For every player it is difficult. So next year, all of these players will play better and we will improve.
“This year we improved a lot. Sometimes you can lose and you don’t know why, because you prepared well.
“But this is the problem when you have a new team. A manager needs time because in one year you cannot build a strong team. But it is important that you improve every week.”