City Back Together At Carrington For Title Defence
City boss Roberto Mancini addressed the hacks at City's Carrington base as The Blues squad assembled en masse for the final training push ahead of the big kick off...
Mancio has forged a close knit winning mentality into his troops, a fact that was glaringly self-evident when City hunted down The Stretfords to win the English title in thrilling style. It's a characteristic of a settled squad that will stand them in good stead in the coming months, but the smart Italian has indicated that he intends to follow a superb pre-season with a training programme that will go rapidly through the gears this week:
'We will start to work together, the whole team together as we prepare for the season ahead...now that we are all back together, this will be very important. The pre-season has been important for us as the players get warmed up again, but we will now begin to work very hard.'
Sunday's Community Shield clash with a drastically overhauled Chelsea team makes for a mouth watering curtain raiser and will be fascinating to see how an established City team contends with the Londoners swathe of new signings. However, it's highly likely that numerous of City's Euro 2012 participants will play a reduced role at Villa Park according to Mancio:
'For us it was important that the players play in the European Championship, but they needed a month to recover because last season was very hard and this season will be very long...The games against Oldham and Limerick were very important, but I think we need another three or four weeks for these players to get back to full fitness...We will all need to work very hard at Carrington.'
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all times East Manchester
Sun 12 Aug 13h30 Chelsea, Villa Park, Community Shield
Sa 18 Aug 15h00 Southampton, The Etihad, PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield, PL
Sa 01 Sep 17h30 QPR, The Etihad, PL
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES:
The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.