Joyce eyeing play-off push
Gary Neville wonders if Roberto Mancini will still have a job
next summer if he fails to follow up last season’s Premier League
title triumph with Manchester City.
Mancini finds himself under pressure heading into Sunday’s
Manchester derby, more because of their failures in the Champions
League than on the domestic front.
Victory over United at the Etihad Stadium would put them on top
of the table on goal difference and they go into the game as the
only unbeaten side in England’s four divisions.
But combining their European troubles with the recent arrival of
chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki
Begiristain, Neville feels Mancini’s position is anything but
“Roberto Mancini deserves more time but it is not a ridiculous
suggestion to think City would not consider making a change if he
doesn’t win the league,” said Neville at a Football Writers’
Association Forum in Manchester.
“Whilst he continues to be successful he should stay in his job
but it does feel like one day (Jose) Mourinho or (Pep) Guardiola
will end up there.
“They have a new chief executive and a new director of football
who presumably have the ear of the owner.
“It might be three or five years but eventually they will want
to stamp their mark on the club and Mourinho and Guardiola have to
be pretty high on the list.”
Neville also believes Sir Alex Ferguson will continue as United
manager for some time and does not feel the possible departure of
Mourinho from Real Madrid this summer will hasten his exit.
“Whilst he wants to carry on, Sir Alex will not stand aside for
anybody. He will decide when he doesn’t want to do it anymore,”
“He is not the type of person who would just step aside so he
could watch someone else manage his football team. It has been Alex
Ferguson’s last season for 15 years now. Unless it is the best kept
secret in the world, nobody knows other than him.”
Stanley head to Burton on Sunday having won just one of their
last six League Two meetings, five points shy of the top seven and
nine above the drop zone.
But they travel to the Pirelli Stadium yet to taste defeat on
the road since Leam Richardson replaced Paul Cook as manager and
captain Joyce insists the Reds should be looking up the table.
“We’ve mentioned that (inconsistency) between ourselves,” he
said. “Our home form is not as strong as it has been in the past,
not as consistent as we’d like it to be.
“Our away form is pretty good to be honest. We’ve beaten a lot
of the bigger clubs at the top of the league, so if we can get a
bit more consistency in our game…
“That comes with experience. We’ve got a lot of young lads in
“We’re just trying to go on a really good run of form. We’re not
far from the play-offs.
“League Two is a really tight league and two or three wins can
send you right up towards the top of the league.”