Johnson wants title challenge

Despite being in the top four for most of the campaign, the

big-spending Blues have been unable to keep up with leaders

Manchester United and second-placed Chelsea. After being pipped for

Champions League qualification by Tottenham last season, City have

made progress this term as they are set to clinch a top-four finish

and have reached their first FA Cup final for 30 years. But winger

Johnson feels that is the least Roberto Mancini’s men should have

achieved. “I think we are good enough to have challenged for the

title, and personally, I think we should be up there now with the

squad we have – I’m disappointed we’re not,” he told the Daily

Mirror. “I think we always had that belief. A lot is made about us

not being a close group and all this sort of stuff, but I’ve not

been in a better dressing room for banter and the lads knitting as

one. “I think a lot of people think maybe we ought to have been

challenging, but there was a couple of iffy results which we should

have won. Things could have been different but it’s been a learning

process for us. “Hopefully it will be different next season and we

will know what it’s about. I’m disappointed, but it wasn’t to be

and I think we will learn from that, push on next season and be

right in the mix.” City upset United in the FA Cup semi-finals to

book a return to Wembley to face Stoke on May 14 and the Blues have

since beat Blackburn and West Ham in the league to tighten their

grip on fourth place. And Johnson reckons that the derby victory

over United showed the togetherness in the City squad, along with

their determination to deliver silverware. “Lots been made of our

squad not being together, but for us in the dressing room we’ve

always had a belief in ourselves, and I think you could say it’s

made us even stronger now, the way the results have gone,” he

added. “Maybe the win over United was a turning point, by giving us

a little bit more belief. But I think we had the belief we would do

it anyway. It was just about going on the pitch and doing it. “I

don’t think it’s made a major difference around the club. Hopefully

there will be a lot of other big things in years to come. I think

it’s up to us now. That game has gone. Hopefully we are going to

make history and push on to next season and win even more

trophies.”