Football

Milner: We'll make Champions League

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James Milner has no doubt Manchester City will eventually gatecrash the Champions League.

In a week that started with more discussion about the perceived negativity of Roberto Mancini's tactics and ends with a meeting with Fulham on Sunday, question marks have again been raised about City's ability to fulfil the lofty ambitions of owner Sheikh Mansour. Having arrived at Eastlands from Aston Villa this summer, Milner had to work out the answers for himself.

The answers were all positive, and he said: "City will get there slightly quicker. We are in a better position with the owners investing in the way they have and hopefully we will soon be in the Champions League and beyond."

He added: "We are all desperate to win trophies. That is why I came here. Everything is moving forward. It is all there for us. Now it is up to us to go ahead and do it."

Milner echoes the words of Mancini on Friday.

The Italian has been quick to play down the personal aspect of Sunday's encounter with former City boss Mark Hughes' Fulham at Craven Cottage, knowing his own record is very similar to that of Hughes before the Welshman was unceremoniously dumped just before Christmas last year.

Forceful interjections from club staff insisting the two records are not like-for-like - given Hughes had started his second season and Mancini had not been in position for less than a year - are not being afforded as much credence as City would like purely because similar assurances were made about Hughes.

There is one key difference though. The Blues' league position.

Whereas City's record last year kept them out of the top four, the bizarre nature of the Premier League this term means City are firmly established within it.

And it is that placing, even beyond a desperate desire to land a first trophy since 1976, that will determine Mancini's fate.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Fulham
Football
Manchester City
James Milner
Chelsea
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Mark Hughes
Aston Villa

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