Supporters club chief confident of City success

The general secretary of the Manchester City Supporters Club is backing the Premier League champions to retain their title.

City regained the title from arch-rivals Manchester United in May, lifting the trophy for the second time in three seasons.

United had been crowned champions of England 12 months previously, with City finishing 11 points behind their neighbours in what proved to be Roberto Mancini's last season in charge.

Manuel Pellegrini has strengthened his squad by bringing in Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard - on loan until January - ahead of the new campaign.

Kevin Parker, general Secretary of the Manchester City Football Club Supporters Club, is wary of the threat posed by Chelsea, but believes City have a great chance of winning the title once again given the business they have done in the transfer market.

He told Perform: "This time around we've signed some better players, the best of those would appear to be Mangala although Fernando, having seen him in pre-season, looks a very good player as well.

"Sagna is a good player, he might have a job to get in front of [Pablo] Zabaleta of course, who is a great player and a fans' favourite.

"All in all I think we are better set than the first time around to defend the title, although I think it's not going to be easy I am still confident, I think we've got a very good squad that has been strengthened.

"Chelsea have strengthened well, I think [Diego] Costa and [Cesc] Fabregas are very good signings, United will certainly put in a bigger challenge this season, they are still going to spend some money and of course they don't have the, for want of a better word, inconvenience of Champions league this season,

"I think as we saw with Liverpool last season that they had a great season but that was helped by the fact that they didn't have to play European football.

"Arsenal I'm just never very sure about to be honest with you, they played very well in the Community Shield on Sunday with an almost full strength team.

"They've got capabilities in their squad to challenge again, I sometimes question their mental strength, whereas from our point of view I think that's where we came good again last season.

"Particularly the way we won it the first time round with the [Sergio] Aguero goal, coming from eight points behind United with six games to go, and even this time coming from points behind Liverpool with four games to go.

"I think we have to hit the ground running, which may be a little bit more difficult than we imagined because of the players we had on World Cup duty who returned to pre-season training later than the rest."

City start the defence of their title at Newcastle United on Sunday.


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