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FA Cup win can help Man City match Man Utd's 20 league titles, says Dunne

11:05 SAST 2019/03/16
Pep Guardiola Manchester City Premier League trophy
The former Blues defender says Pep Guardiola's men will be looking to stockpile domestic cups in their bid to become one of the world's biggest clubs

Manchester City will want to stockpile domestic trophies like the FA Cup as they aim to become one of the biggest clubs in the world and even match Manchester United’s record of 20 Premier League titles, according to former defender Richard Dunne.

City face Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday and Dunne believes his old club have a great opportunity to win at least three competitions this season, and perhaps even the elusive Champions League.

The Blues have won three league titles, four Carabao Cups and one FA Cup in the past decade, but Dunne insists they will be hoping to be even more consistent on all fronts in the coming years as Guardiola bids to establish the club on the same level as United and Liverpool.

Speaking on behalf of BT Sport, the former Republic or Ireland international says that retaining the title would be one thing, but adding competitions like the FA Cup would add something special to City's legacy.

“I think any team that retains the Premier League is instantly up there, because it is such a difficult trophy to hold onto,” he told Goal. “But to be able to do that and clean up domestically adds another level to it.

“I think that’s the aim, I think they want to dominate for the next four or five, maybe 10 years, try to win as many as they can and make sure that this isn’t a short-term thing for Man City.

“They want to be a historically big club like Man United, like Liverpool, and to do that it takes time. But I think over the next period, as long as Guardiola is there, they will be looking to win every trophy they can domestically to get that honours list up higher and get them competing maybe more towards 20 Premier League titles.”

City kicked off their new era of success by winning the FA Cup in 2011, but while they have gone on to win seven more major trophies since then they have not managed to repeat the trick in the world’s oldest club competition.

Dunne says the club have underachieved in that respect, but is backing them to put that right thanks to their relentless desire to win every game.

“With the players coming back early from the World Cup last August because they wanted to get their hands on a medal for the Community Shield, you can see they want to win every tournament,” he adds.

“I don’t think they prioritise anything, they just want to win the next game all the time, and if they can get their hands on the FA Cup they’ll be more than delighted.

“I think with the FA Cup it just comes from that history and honour and pride, for the fans as much as anything it’s a huge thing to win the FA Cup. They’ve not won it enough, I suppose, for the amount of quality that they’ve had over the last 10 years. So to get that back on board it would be brilliant and even if that was it and they finished the season with a domestic treble that would be a very, very successful season for them.”

Dunne also believes the Champions League is a reasonable aim for City this season, although he acknowledges that the punishing nature of top-level European football means they will have to be at their very best to do so.

“With the state of the squad at the moment they just look like they’re ready,” he says. “I think everybody is fit, there’s no suspensions, they’re all just playing well and they look like this year could be the year for them, but if you take your eye off the ball in that competition or make one mistake it can cost you dearly.

“It’s the one trophy that you couldn’t say they’re favourites for because there are other teams and if you do make those errors they will exploit them.”

But Dunne believes that Guardiola’s winning mentality and experience at Barcelona and Bayern Munich will ensure they go close: “He’s been so good in terms of keeping the squad happy, in terms of keeping the intensity really high, the effort in training seems to be really high, and that will to win every game and every tournament is a very difficult thing to instil in people.

"But he’s done it now over a period of time at two of the biggest clubs in world football and he’s in the process of turning Man City into one of those teams as well.”

Watch Swansea City v Manchester City exclusively live on Saturday from 5:00pm on BT Sport 2. Watch live on TV and via the award-winning BT Sport App. For more info visit bt.com/sport.