Vieira feels vindicated at City

Patrick Vieira insists he did not need renewed talk about a France

recall to know he made the right decision to join Manchester City.

Within days of Vieira making his first start for the Blues

following a transfer window move from Inter Milan, the

33-year-old’s name was once again being mentioned at the highest

level.

It is exactly what Vieira was looking for, given his stated

aim when leaving Serie A was to play in the World Cup in South

Africa this summer.

But he knows joining City was the right decision anyway.

And even though Roberto Mancini’s team face an FA Cup

fifth-round replay at the Britannia Stadium on February 24

following a disappointing draw with Stoke, Vieira is convinced the

Eastlands outfit are on the brink of big things.

“I am 100 per cent sure I made the right move. I don’t have

any doubt about it,” he said.

“I made the choice to come here because I strongly believe

the quality of the football club and the quality of the players is

there.

“After a month I am more than confident. The quality of the

players and the hunger to finish in the top four is there, so we

know what we have to do.

“My target is the World Cup. But to go to the World Cup I

have to perform with City and I am really focused on the way I

perform at City.”

Vieira’s name is been mentioned with an international recall

at the same time as Wayne Bridge’s England future has become a hot

topic for discussion.

Fabio Capello watched Bridge in person at Eastlands, although

such is the distance he prefers to keep with his players, there was

no chat afterwards about the defender’s intentions, which will need

to be established, if not before City tackle Chelsea at Stamford

Bridge on February 27, then immediately afterwards given the

England squad to face Egypt the following week will be named later

that evening.

“He has not told me he won’t go,” said Mancini.

“I think the national team is important for Wayne. He is an

English player. The most important thing is the national team. That

is my opinion.”

Of more concern for Mancini would be that, after two months

out with a knee injury, Bridge’s fitness levels still need to

improve.

Apart from one pretty horrendous mis-control, Bridge turned

in a decent display on Saturday, starting brightly, then fading,

like City as a whole.

Shaun Wright-Phillips profited from an even more woeful error

by Ryan Shawcross to put City in front and seemingly on course for

their third quarter-final appearance in five years.

But they failed to build on their first-half dominance, so,

when Rory Delap hurled one of his trademark long throws to the edge

of the City penalty area, Ricardo Fuller was scoring the equaliser

as he came through a packed penalty area to head home unmarked.

“There is no doubt it is quicker than Italy over here but

maybe in Italy there are fewer mistakes than in the Premier

League,” said Vieira, who was introduced after Fuller’s goal to

bring a sense of order to a City performance that was in danger of

subsiding completely.

“The important thing for me is to keep working hard, enjoy it

and try to do my best for the team.

“But at the moment, I need to build my fitness.”

Vieira is likely to be back in Mancini’s starting line-up on

Tuesday, when City head to Stoke for a Premier League game, but

there are doubts over plenty of others.

Carlos Tevez has gone back to Argentina for family reasons,

so he will not play and Mancini said on Friday he was looking

towards the crunch clash with Liverpool next weekend for Craig

Bellamy.

In addition, Martin Petrov limped off at the start of the

second-half with a serious-looking problem, while Mancini also

reported injuries to Wright-Phillips and Stephen Ireland that

threaten to prevent them making the short journey down the M6 as

City look to ease themselves into the top four in the first of

their two matches in hand.