Roberto Mancini has likened Manchester City FC to Juventus as the sides prepare to face each other in UEFA Europa League Group A on Thursday.
Mancini believes the two clubs are working towards the same goals and that both need to be given time to achieve the success they and their supporters crave. "I think we are like Juventus," said City's Italian manager. "We work to improve, we need time. I think that we are the same because we work for the same targets – we want to improve and we want to develop.
"I have a lot of respect for Juventus because, for me, they are one of the top teams in Europe. They play football very well and have an important history.
Juventus are a strong team. This year they changed their coach, they changed a lot of players – but it is always Juventus. I think they need time to be a team but I think tomorrow it will be a difficult game."
Mancini's opposite number, Luigi Delneri, was equally respectful of the team he hopes to topple at the City of Manchester Stadium. The Sky Blues go into the fixture on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 victory against English champions Chelsea FC last weekend, a result which leaves them fourth in the Premier League.
"We are playing against an excellent team," said Delneri, whose side were held 3-3 at home by KKS Lech Poznań a fortnight ago, when City were winning 2-0 at FC Salzburg. "
We will be able to see the maturity of our own team. We will also be able to see what improvements, if any, we need to make."
Juve may sit ninth in Serie A but they are just three points off the summit and are also the 12-goal leading scorers after five rounds of games. Conversely, City boast the joint-best defence in the English top flight having conceded just twice in six games. "Football is odd," said the Juventus coach on hearing the statistic. "It's a good challenge and this match is certainly a very important one for us."
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