Belfast Telegraph

No guarantees for Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini accepts his job may not be guaranteed long-term, even though he has helped steer them towards a glorious future.

The Italian's position at the Etihad Stadium has become the subject of speculation as his side have stuttered in the Barclays Premier League title race over the past month. That is despite a largely impressive and sustained challenge for a first league crown since 1968 and last season's FA Cup success, which ended a 35-year trophy drought.

Mancini, who succeeded Mark Hughes in December 2009, said: "I started my job two-and-a-half years ago and from that moment I think we have improved a lot as a team, as players, as a club. I think this is important when you are at a new team. When you choose the job you should know anything can happen any moment but I don't have any problem with this."

He added: "When you work hard for your job and you improve for your team, I think this is important."

City, having led the table for most of the season, now trail rivals Manchester United by five points with seven games remaining.

Real Madrid's former Chelsea and Inter boss Jose Mourinho has been linked with Mancini's job but there has been no suggestion from City's Abu Dhabi-based owners that they are considering a management change.

Indeed, Mancini has been strongly backed by them throughout his tenure, both financially and in terms of other key man-management matters.

Mancini is thankful for that and enjoys working with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

The 47-year-old said: "My relationship with Khaldoon is fantastic.

"I can say if he sacks me at the end of the season or next year - I don't know - I can say every manager that works with Khaldoon is very lucky. Khaldoon is a really good man."

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