Dressing room unrest awaits Mancini

Roberto Mancini will be unveiled as Manchester City manager on

Monday knowing his first job is to restore order to a dressing room

in revolt.

But the Italian will also come into a job where predecessor

Mark Hughes found the expectations of the club’s owners changed, it

has been claimed.

Hughes’ sacking, straight after the 4-3 win over Sunderland

on Saturday, triggered an angry reaction from a group of players

who remain solidly behind the Welshman.

While Robinho, a £32.5million purchase imposed on

Hughes, and maybe even the axed Emmanuel Adebayor, will shed no

tears at Hughes’ exit, the core of City’s side, including Shay

Given, Craig Bellamy and Gareth Barry, were part of a deputation

that urged chief executive Garry Cook to reverse the decision to

dismiss a man who was only appointed 18 months ago.

Predictably, given Hughes’ exit had been plotted for over a

fortnight, it had no effect.

However, resentment remains, which Mancini must restore calm

before his first match in charge against Stoke on Boxing Day.

Having been handed a £3million-a-year contract that it

is said will be extended to a full three seasons should City

qualify for next year’s Champions League, Mancini has a fortnight

to assess the troops at his disposal before deciding how much of

the Abu Dhabi billions he must invest during the January transfer

window.

The Italian takes over amid claims from League Managers

Association chief executive Richard Bevan that Hughes was unaware

of his fate prior to Saturday’s game.

City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak revealed the decision had

been taken in response to a run of just two wins in 11 in the

Premier League.

City’s woes stem largely from too many drawn matches, the

club having lost just two games all season – one of those an

unfortunate reverse in a thrilling Manchester derby.