Fifth place not a failure for Mancini

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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has denied he would be regarded as a failure if the Blues failed to claim a Champions League spot this season.

When Mancini arrived at Eastlands amid a storm of controversy in December, one of the reasons cited for Mark Hughes' dismissal was the club's owners did not believe they were on course for a top-four slot.

However, with City sixth with three games of the campaign remaining, he said: "No, I don't think I will have failed. We want to finish fourth and that is what we are working for."

He added: "But we have improved a lot in the last five months and we must improve more if we want to be a good team. I think the owners can see that."

City need to win Saturday's clash with Aston Villa to set up a decisive tussle with Tottenham next Wednesday.

Mancini also believes he would benefit from having a full pre-season with his players and claimed he expects to be around in the summer to instigate more changes.

"When you work with a team in pre-season it is easier to do your job," he said.

"I imagine I will still be Manchester City manager. I hope so. I have a contract. I don't decide but I think I will be."

Mancini flatly denied also drawing up a list of players he wanted to jettison, including Emmanuel Adebayor, Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

"I never said that," he said. "I have had meetings with the club about players for the future but I never said there were players I did not want."

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