Vieira feels vindicated at 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.