Mancini Aiming To Change City's History

"All my players should understand very well that this is a big moment for us. The first trophy is the hardest but it is time for City to win something." - Roberto Mancini, Manager of Manchester City FC
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said it is time to "change the history" of the club ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. The men from Eastlands have not won a trophy for since their 1976 League Cup triumph, while they dropped into the third tier of the league in 1998. "All my players should understand very well that this is a big moment for us. The first trophy is the hardest but it is time for City to win something," said Mancini.

Saturday's match will be City's first FA Cup semi-final since 1981 when they beat Ipswich before going on to lose to Tottenham in a replay in the final. Mancini's men go into the match as certain second favourites, given their opponents' fine recent form, City's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out and their loss of talismanic striker Carlos Tevez to injury.

United are chasing their first Treble since 1999. They are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, through to a semi-final against Schlake in the Champions League and know victory over City will put them into another domestic showpiece final next month. Mancini stressed that his team need not be overwhelmed by the occasion, as long as they keep their heads.

"I know we have improved a lot. When you build a new team you can always lose matches, like we did against Liverpool. And it was better to happen at Liverpool than on Saturday. When we started the season our target was to reach the Champions League and try to win a trophy. We are one month away from the end of the season and we are in a good way. Now it depends on us - at this moment, we should be happy," said the Italian.

In recent encounters between the two sides, United have gained a clear advantage over their cross-city rivals, winning six and drawing one of the last eight match-ups. However, United midfielder Michael Carrick has said that he expects Saturday's semi-final to be a "different type of derby".

"Both teams will be going for it. I don't think it will be like the normal league games, which have been a bit boring at times. This will be different. I am sure it is going to be an entertaining match," the Englishman commented.

Only five members of the Red Devils' present squad have won the FA Cup before, a figure that does not include Wayne Rooney, or Rio Ferdinand, who was suspended for the last of United's 11 triumphs in the competition in 2004 thanks to his eight-month ban for failing to take a drugs test. Carrick is also without an FA Cup winner's medal, having played in United's 2007 losing final against Chelsea, and he is desperate for success in the competition.

"The FA Cup is what I grew up with. It was such a big deal when I was young to sit and watch the FA Cup final. Th e tradition and the history of the thing is incredible and it has stayed with me ever since. Over the years, this club has been very successful at that. But there are a lot of players at United who have not won the FA Cup and that is something we want to put right," Carrick reflected.

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