Santa Cruz: Mancini making his mark

BY foxsports • December 22, 2009

Roque Santa Cruz claims Roberto Mancini has made a quick impression at Manchester City, but admits Mark Hughes' sacking angered some players.

The Italian was appointed after Saturday's 4-3 victory over Sunderland and wasted no time in his attempts to sure up City's leaky defence.

The squad was ordered to take double training on Tuesday, despite the icy conditions, and Santa Cruz is hoping for instant results when Stoke travel to Eastlands on Boxing Day.

He told the Daily Mirror: "In the first day he was shaping the team a little and giving us ideas of what he expected from us.

"He knows exactly what he has to do. There is a lot of work to do tactically and I think he will do it.

"We were working very well on reshaping the team, which is one of the things we need to do to get the right balance defensively.

"We will have a double session on Tuesday and for sure he will get ideas and tell the team what he expects from us.

"He wants us to close people down. He wants us to be solid and tight and to make it very hard for the other team to play between the lines. And then once we get the ball, to play it wide.

"We have a lot of defensive work to do and then we will have time to address other things which have been causing problems to the team and solve them in the best way possible."

Santa Cruz admits the dismissal of previous boss Mark Hughes had caused fury within the squad but the Paraguay international is refusing to dwell on the decision.

He added: "Naturally, there was some anger, we had won the game and things still happened.

"Garry Cook came down and told us after the game. He told us what decision the Sheikh had made and that it was for the good of the club because they were aiming to build something not only for this season, but for the coming ones as well.

"We are employees of the club and if you've got something to say, then you say it. But you work for the club and you want to do the best for the club.

"If they think it is the best choice, we know as a fact that they want the best for club as well, so you just have to put our best into every session and try to help the new gaffer to find the results that are expected and move forward.

"Of course it's sad. It is never going to be an easy thing to see your gaffer going because it is somebody losing their job and, even if you don't have a good relationship with your manager, you cannot be happy to see him leaving the club having lost his job.

"Our results have not been incredibly good, but not incredibly bad either. But things have happened because you have people here who want to achieve the top four.

"Football is sometimes like that and you need to carry on. We want to see the club in the top four so there is a lot of work to do. Everybody needs to keep looking forward."

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