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.”