Roberto Mancini: My Manchester City future is secure
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini feels his job is safe despite his side failing to reach the Champions League last 16 for a second successive season.
City drew 1-1 with Real Madrid
as Real and Borussia Dortmund qualified.
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Real boss Jose Mourinho
“It is incredible when you look at the array of players City have got that they have been eliminated from the group stage two years running”
Asked if failure could cost him his job, Mancini said: "I don't fear this. If we think we can win the Champions League after two years we are crazy."
Real boss Mourinho expressed his surprise that big-spending City had again failed to make the last 16.
"It is incredible when you look at the array of players City have got that they have been eliminated from the group stage two years running," Mourinho said.
"But I believe Roberto can work without any problems. If it was Real, I don't believe the press would let me return to Madrid."
Mourinho laughed as he made that last comment at the end of his media conference at Etihad Stadium, but Mancini has little to smile about when it comes to his side's prospects in Europe.
The Italian's expensively-assembled side won last season's Premier League title and are top of the domestic table.
But Mancini said he does not feel City are ready to challenge the best teams in Europe after they failed to advance from Group D, and thinks that will take time.
"Look at Chelsea," Mancini added when asked how long it could take City to be genuine contenders. "They tried to win it for 10 years and when they were at their best they probably deserved to win it, but they didn't. Then they won last year when nobody thought they would win it.
"The Champions League is strange and difficult. We need to have a big passion for it and we need to improve our team and understand that we cannot start the group with mistakes. We need to win our first two games."
"Man City's Abu Dhabi owners operate to a different set of rules than Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and they support a manager who brought City their first title for 44 years last season and currently has them top of the Premier League. What cannot be dismissed, though, is that this has been a dispiriting Champions League campaign for a club of such high ambition."
City can still finish third in Group D if they beat Dortmund in Germany in their final game and Ajax fail to beat Real, but a Europa League place is again the best they can manage and they will be onlookers when the knockout stages of the Champions League are played in the new year.
"If we could get to the second stage in February, then everything can change because you can improve over five or six months and maybe you can say you are here to win the Champions League," Mancini explained.
"But if you say, as a team or a club, can we win it, I don't think this, because I think there are five or six teams better than us.
"We wanted to go through this time but this group was really difficult. The Champions League does not ever give you a chance to recover if you miss some chances like we did in our first two or three games.
"In the Premier League, the season is long. Also, if you lose two or three games then you have time to recover. In the Champions League, you don't."
Last season, City went out in the group stage despite picking up 10 points from their six games. This campaign has seen them collect only three from five so far, and they have failed to win a single match in Europe.
"This is worse," Mancini said. "We have made some mistakes and the group is very difficult. We started the group with defeat in Madrid when we were 2-1 up with only a few minutes to go and everything was made complicated by that result.
"I think Real and Dortmund deserve to go through because they played better than us."