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Mancini pleads with Man City board to give him time

Roberto Mancini wants the Manchester City board to give him the time he needs to transform them into a major domestic and European force. The Italian's brief when he arrived at City in December as Mark Hughes' replacement was to clinch fourth place and with it a Champions League berth for next season, but that is far from a certainty, with Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool all challenging.

"When you want to build a good team you must have time," said Mancini, whose side are currently sixth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth-placed Spurs.

"A manager needs to work at least for one year to get to know his players."

Asked whether he had been given any guarantees that he would remain in the post next season, the 45-year-old admitted: "No, I don't know this. I can't decide this. I can decide the training and the players but other things are decided by the owners.

"I have three years left on my contract and I am here to make us a top team next year.

"We want to finish fourth. But if we don't finish fourth we play next season in the Europa League.

"I want to stay here 200% and, if the owner wants me to stay, I will stay here. I think I will still be manager next August.

"I think we have a fantastic chance to become a very important team next year if we build, if we work hard and if we have time.

"We have improved a lot in the last five months. And I think the owners can see the improvement."

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