MADRID, Spain, September 18 – Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini on Monday said his side had come to the Santiago Bernabeu meaning business, with three points the aim when they face Real Madrid in their opening Champions League Group D match on Tuesday.
“We have come here to win,” he said at the eve-of-game press conference here.
“Of course it will be difficult but we absolutely have that ambition because this group is extremely challenging and 10 points might not be enough to get through.”
Last season, Mancini’s City were eliminated at the group stage despite hitting the 10-point mark that has often been seen as the minimum required to progress in the past.
“Our first match, tomorrow (Tuesday) in Madrid, will be very important, not just in terms of the result, but also because of the mentality it will give us for the games that follow,” added the Italian.
Meanwhile City’s Spanish international winger David Silva said that the poor form shown by their opponents so far in La Liga — they have taken just four points from four games and lost at Sevilla at the weekend — could work against the English champions.
“This is a dangerous match for us because we could well waken the beast that is sleeping somewhere inside them,” said Silva, who agreed a new five-year contract to keep him at City earlier on Monday.
“I am happy here (at City). We have won three titles in two years and I still want to progress here and win more trophies.
“I think I am in the right place to do that,” added the former Valencia star, a target of Madrid in the past.
Another one-time Madrid target now plying his trade with the sky blue half of Manchester is Sergio Aguero, and the former Atletico Madrid striker could feature on Tuesday night.
Mancini admitted the Argentine, who has been working his way back to fitness following a knee injury, was “not yet 100 percent fit, but had a chance of starting the game.”
City and Real will also face Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund and Dutch title-holders Ajax in a group that has been dubbed by many as “the group of death.”