Premier League

Clichy shocked by Mancini exit

Defender Gael Clichy was shocked by Mancini's exit.
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Manchester City defender Gael Clichy admits the sacking of manager Roberto Mancini came "as a bit of a shock".

Mancini was axed by City last week after a relatively disappointing season in which the club surrendered the Barclays Premier League title and struggled in Europe.

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The Italian also left his post just two days after defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup final and there has been little comment from anyone at the club since.

Clichy became the first player to address the matter when he spoke as he undertook a community initiative for City during their post-season tour of the United States.

The Frenchman, signed from Arsenal in 2011 said: "For me it's always difficult as obviously he brought me to the club.

"It's the first time a manager has been axed since I've been at a club, so it's a bit of a shock and if you look at his record it's difficult to understand.

"He's won trophies, the title after 44 years. He won the team the first title.

"Many people, particularly the fans, would have wanted to give him another go.

"But that's the way it is, we are only football players.

"There are people at the top, above us, above the manager is the chairman. He made the decision to call a stop to it - you have to accept this."

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is the favourite to succeed Mancini and Clichy is aware of his credentials.

The 27-year-old said: "We don't know who is coming.

"The only thing we can do as players is give everything for the club.

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"What I know about him (Pellegrini) is probably as much as you, his record speaks for itself - he's been at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

"We lost a top manager who will stay in the hearts of fans for many years - but now we want a boss who will do well.

"He's done well with the clubs in Spain, we just have to give him time and we need more than a year or two."

Clichy, who signed a new four-year deal last week, admitted last season had provided a reality check for the team after their successes of the past two years.

He said: "I'm not sure it's a good thing to have a step backwards but the reality is if you don't work hard enough you are not going to get anywhere.

"That's a good lesson and hopefully we'll learn from this."

Clichy was speaking as a City delegation visited Staten Island in New York, where the club have donated football equipment to a local community group who are helping the island recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Clichy said: "I think it's important, we don't always realise people are in need.

"There are people in the club working for the communities all over the world.

"We are aware of what they are doing but until you see for yourself you can't really appreciate it."

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