MAN CITY ready to test big guns

MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his side is well placed to improve on last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League and join Europe's elite.

MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his side is well placed to improve on last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League and join Europe's elite.

The Italian led City to fifth place, just outside the Champions League qualifying places, in his first campaign at Eastlands last season.

City last won a major trophy in 1976 when they lifted the League Cup, a competition in which they lost in the semifinals to Manchester United last season.

Mancini has already added to his squad ahead of the upcoming campaign by bringing in Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure from Barcelona, David Silva from Valencia and Hamburg's Jerome Boateng.

"Excited? Yes I am," Mancini told www.mcfc.co.uk, City's official website. "Even before I see where we finish in the transfer market and which players come here, I think it will be a good season for us. I think we have a squad for success, and our supporters deserve this. Last year we did have a good season.

"We didn't get to the Champions League, but we still had a good season. Now it is time that some trophies came to this club."

Mancini said: "We have got Boateng, Yaya Toure and David Silva. All three of them are good players.

"Silva and Boateng are very young, a good investment for the club, and Yaya has fantastic experience with Barcelona, where he won a lot of trophies.

"We need to have the players if we want to reduce the gap with the other teams. We need to bring in players with good quality."

Meanwhile, Mancini has bolstered his back-room staff by bringing in former England midfielder David Platt as first-team coach.

"He played with me at Sampdoria for two years. He was captain of the national team and manager of the Under-21s," Mancini said of Platt.

"He will be important to us this year. If we want to start to win trophies, if we want to start a new era at City, then it is important to improve the team and to improve the staff." - Sapa-AFP

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