Ferguson ups the pressure on Mancini
Sir Alex Ferguson feels Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini must secure a place in the Premier League top four this season if he is going to keep the club's owners happy.
The Italian took his summer spending soaring past the £100m mark when the Blues announced the capture of Mario Balotelli last night. And considering Mark Hughes was sacked last December despite being on schedule to meet a 70-point target set prior to the campaign, Ferguson thinks he knows what City owner Sheikh Mansour will be looking for.
"City have to be in the top four," said the Manchester United manager. "They have spent money and the expectation increases with that. They have got to be in the pecking order. Mancini will know the strength of the players he had last year. I said last season they could easily go and buy another team and he has added Silva, Toure, Boateng and Kolarov.
"I don't think they will be looking at making a bad start though. They didn't have one last season and they had a new team then. They have individuals who can score a goal and win games like Tevez and Adebayor."
United's own pre-season expectations were raised by the Community Shield defeat of Chelsea last weekend, and the full house signs will be up at Old Trafford on Monday when the Red Devils begin their campaign against Newcastle.
Despite once again deciding not to invest huge amounts of the Glazer family's fortune this summer, Ferguson thinks anyone who believes his empire is starting to crumble is wrong.
"Other clubs will be glad we didn't buy big in terms of David Villa or going out to buy Lionel Messi," said Ferguson. "But I really don't think there was a need for us to do that. I have to trust the younger players coming through. We are good at that and I am going to stick to it.
"Nobody has left the club and if people are saying City will be better because Mancini has an extra year under his belt then surely Manchester United, with the present squad and the younger players a year older, will improve too."