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
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.