Nigel making plans for City title tilt

The big-spending Blues sent an early warning to their Premier
League rivals by brushing aside the Reds 3-0 at Eastlands without
even hitting top gear. Debutant James Milner made the opening goal
for Gareth Barry and the ex-Aston Villa pair shone alongside de
Jong, Yaya Toure and Adam Johnson in an impressive five-man
midfield. Lone striker Carlos Tevez then claimed a second-half
double to seal City’s first league win of the season after holding
Tottenham to a 0-0 draw on the opening day. “As a midfield, I
thought we played well as a unit,” De Jong told the club’s official
website. “James Milner had a fine debut, Gareth Barry scored a good
goal, and Yaya and I did what we do. “I think anyone would agree we
have enough quality in our whole team to be challenging. Now what
we have to show is that we have the mentality too. “We want to win
this league – that’s the ambition – but to do that we have to hit
these standards every week.” City just missed out on Champions
League qualification last season as they finished fifth. A top-four
finish is seen as a must this term after the Blues made another six
big signings this summer and de Jong believes the extra competition
for places is bringing the best out of the City squad. “There is no
doubt that the intensity has upped in training with the arrival of
the new players,” added the Dutch midfielder. “Everyone is working
and fighting for each other. “You have to raise your game when
players like we have signed come into the group but it is not just
them, it is younger ones pushing from underneath too. There are
lots of things to be positive about but we must not get carried
away with one result. “What this win has done is make sure we have
made a positive start, just like United, Chelsea, Arsenal and
Spurs.”